Q: My garden is in full bloom and I’ve kept up on weeding. What now? — Jeanne Savage, Cambria
A: It’s time to breathe in the cool moist air of June. Spring planting is finished, flowers are in bloom, and some edibles are ready for harvest. Automatic watering systems have been adjusted for longer days and weeds are under control.
Vines may need trimming and tying. Bearded irises may have “lost their bloom” and need deadheading and feeding. In coastal zones you can divide bearded irises after flowering is finished. Wait until fall to divide Pacific Coast Irises. Feed Cymbidium orchids regularly.
Deadhead roses to keep them blooming. Avoid water splashing on leaves to prevent rust, downy mildew and blackspot. Prune out infected leaves to improve air circula tion. A sharp spray of water is a good way to reduce aphids, but it should be done early in the day so foliage dries by nighttime.
Fungicides such as neem oil or horticultural oil can help reduce powdery mildew and blackspot. Sulfur or potassium bicarbonate may be used as a preventative for rust. Remember to always read the label. To save time and money, we recommend planting diseaseresistant varieties.
Put out annuals before the intense summer sun arrives. Dianthus, lobelia, marigold, petunia, and verbena will provide color through summer and fall.
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. For a continuous supply of herbs, set out basil, oregano and parsley. Remember to pinch back herbs, especially basil, to keep them full and prevent them from going to seed. Thin fruit on trees after “June drop.’’
Check your automatic watering system. Soil should remain moist a few inches below the surface. Establish a regular feeding schedule for actively growing plants. While they don’t need “three meals a day,” they need food to be available when they’re hungry. Do not feed mature Mediterranean and native plants at rest. Refresh mulch if needed to conserve water and suppress weeds. Keep mulch away from trunks of shrubs and trees.
Enjoy your garden in its prime and savor the fresh taste of early summer and the colors of late spring.
GOT A GARDENING QUESTION?
Contact the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners at 781-5939 on Mondays and Thursdays from 1 to 5 p.m. in San Luis Obispo; at 473-7190 from 10 a.m. to noon in Arroyo Grande; or at 434-4105 on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon in Templeton. Visit the UCCE Master Gardeners Web site at http://groups.ucanr.org/slomg or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.