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What to Do This Month
Southeast Gardener: What to Do in June
Get your snippers out to protect your roses from beetles and harvest lavender from the landscape. It's a glorious month for Southern gardens
Houzz contributor Helen Yoest digs gardens. Author of Gardening With Confidence® 50 Ways to add style for personal creativity. Helen is an award winning garden writer and a frequent contributor to Country Gardens, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Living, Carolina Gardening, and Triangle Gardener. Helen scouts and styles gardens throughout the south.
Houzz contributor Helen Yoest digs gardens. Author of Gardening With Confidence®... More
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June is a good month in the South; the humidity has not yet arrived (for the most part), the days are long and the kids are out of school, putting us in summertime. Our routine has changed — a change that is welcome indeed! Summertime also brings garden time, fresh-food time and al fresco dining time. Here are a few things to do in Southeast gardens in June.
Summer rose care. Japanese beetles will be here before you know it. One approach to keeping them off your roses is a technique referred to as "keeping them in the green." This means cut your roses and bring them inside, because Japanese beetles are attracted to bright and happy colors.
Your Knock Out Roses will bloom all summer. After the initial flush in the spring, deadhead if the subsequent lapse bothers you, otherwise just wait a day or two. They will begin to bloom again.
See another blooming rose
See another blooming rose
What to plant in June. After the last frost date, I direct-sow (toss directly into the garden) zinnia seeds every two weeks. Zinnias are prone to the fungal disease black spot, which shows up worse as the annual ages. Seeding every two weeks allows me to have continuous, fresh blooms. As soon as a plant shows signs of black spot, it’s pulled.
Add a Mandevilla vine. They are treated as an annual in most of the Southeast but will grow quickly and bloom all summer long.
On the wild side. Milkweed is the only host plant for the Monarch butterfly. Asclepias tuberosa is one species of milkweed that is also a pretty addition to the garden, but expect (and hope) it to be eaten to a nub. The female Monarch will lay her eggs here. Soon you will see tiny caterpillars that will slowly mature as they feed on the milkweed plant. The adults also enjoy the nectar.
Echinacea purpurea is a pretty pollinator in Southeast gardens. After it's finished flowering, keep the seed heads for the birds to feed on.
Prune now, benefit later. Do you find it frustrating when all your Monarda didyma 'Jacob Cline' bloom at once? By pruning some of your Monarda now, you will delay the bloom time of those plants. Deadhead regularly for continuous blooms. I also leave some seed heads for the finches to enjoy.
Good bug or bad bug? This is a black widow spider. Be careful when pulling out stored pots to make your season's container gardens — there may be more lurking there than fond summer memories.
Herbs. Don't let your basil (Ocimum basilicum) go to seed or even flower. The stems become woody, and the leaves lose their flavor. Prune basil regularly.
Harvest lavender blooms before it gets too hot. The lavender flowers are at their peak when the bottom of the bloom is just opening; cut the stem down to the foliage. Gather the stems and tie them together. Suspend upside down in a hot, dry, dark location, such as an attic or a closet. Within 10 to 14 days, the lavender will be ready to use.