This June 2019 is a hard one to predict, and so hard to line up garden tasks. Lots of winter rain, the coolest May on record – so what might summer 2019 bring?!
Some things don’t change. When you do water your landscape trees, water deeply. Water so it soaks in to three feet deep. This may mean for eight hours, depending on water flow and soil type, but unless we are slammed with heat, established trees need water only about once per month.
Make sure you are watering out at the canopy line of the plants (the outer edge of the leaves). This is also called the drip-line – where a light rain drips off the leaves to soak the soil. This is where water absorbing roots should be. Watering wide will encourage trees roots to grow wide and thus anchor the trees. With good anchoring roots, trees are less likely to topple in a heavy wind.
Garden Tasks Before Mid-June
* Fertilize citrus if you haven’t already.
* If you wish, apply pre-emergent weed control before monsoon season starts.
Garden Tasks Anytime during June:
* Fertilize lawns and palm trees with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer.
* Plant native vegetables and herbs like amaranth, corn, devil’s claw, epazote, squash and tepary beans.
* Plant non-native heat-loving veggies like black-eyed peas, gourd, muskmelon, squash, and watermelon.
* Watch for tiny young praying mantis, emerging as weather warms. Do not freak out – they are tiny at first and need a second look. Don’t mistake the baby green walkers for aphids, their prey.
* Continue to eliminate spider mites on evergreens with insecticidal soap or blasts of water. Repeat as needed. Water the evergreens to help reduce stress.
* Keep fruit trees irrigated to minimize June fruit drop. Some drop is normal.
* Protect developing apricots, peaches, figs, and grapes from birds with netting. Use a high quality product made for the task because improper netting can harm songbirds.
* Harvest early grapes, jujube, and some Southwest bounty, like barrel cactus seed (Jacqueline explains how here – on SavortheSW.com).
If you want to learn more about what to do each month in the garden, consider my book: “Month-by-Month Guide to Gardening in Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada” (Cool Springs Press). This link is to Amazon and if you buy the book there I will get a few pennies.
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