Q: My garden looks great this time of year. I’d like to keep it that way. Any suggestions?
— Linda Dunn, Cambria
This is the month that gardeners should relax in the garden and enjoy the fruits of their labors. Spring planting is complete; flowers are in bloom.
Use edible flowers in your favorite dishes for flavor and color. Common edible garden flowers include arugula, borage, calendula, carnation, chives, chrysanthemum, gladiolus, fuchsia, gardenia, lavender, lilac, society garlic, nasturtium, marigold, pansy, thyme, and violet.
In early June, we’re approaching the longest day of the year when supplemental watering is essential if the weather is warm. Adjust your automatic watering system as needed. Be careful to avoid overwatering, but keep the soil moist a few inches below the surface. Hanging baskets need a consistent water supply as well.
Have bearded iris lost their bloom? Feed and deadhead to encourage more blooms. In coastal zones, you can divide bearded irises once flowering is finished. Wait until fall to divide Pacific Coast Irises.
Deadhead roses to keep them blooming. Avoid splashing water on leaves to prevent rust, downy mildew and blackspot. A sharp spray of water is a good way to reduce aphids, but be sure to do this early in the day to allow the foliage time to dry completely with the heat of the midday sun.
Plant annuals before the intense summer sun arrives. Dianthus, lobelia, marigold, petunia, and verbena can provide color through summer and fall under the right conditions.
Plant lettuce seeds every few weeks in cooler zones to “keep it coming!” It’s not too late to plant beans, cucumbers, snow peas and green beans from seeds. Remember to pinch back herbs, especially basil, to keep them full and prevent them from going to seed.
Many common garden plants need feeding at regular intervals during the growing season. However, avoid feeding mature Mediterranean and native plants at rest; they’re not able to absorb nutrients when they are not actively growing.
Savor the fresh taste and intense colors of late spring and early summer. Enjoy your garden in its prime.