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|The Mead Moon|
Jun 28 4:54 GMT
- To encourage continued flowering in annuals and a longer blooming season for many of the flowering perennials and shrubs, be diligent about removing the dead blooms from the late spring and early summer flowers.
Year-Round Kitchen Garden:
- Pull up green peas when they begin to die back and replace them with soy beans, bush beans, Southern peas or okra.
- White potatoes may begin to die back by the end of June, meaning they are ready to be dug up. Prompt handling is essential. Dry them a few hours in the shade, before moving them to a dark storage area indoors.
- Bird netting can help protect grapes, apples and other fruit from (needless to say) greedy birds.
- Peppers will appreciate a periodic feeding with a dilute solution of liquid seaweed fertilizer until they set fruit. Seaweed is filled with micro-nutrients vital for healthy pepper growth and it also helps combat stresses such as heat, drought and insect attack.
- Plant spinach, lettuce, carrots, arugula, or cilantro, while temperatures are still moderate.
- Fast-growing corn and bean varieties can be planted until mid-month.
- Harvest everything that is ready on a twice-a-week harvest schedule; three times a week for a long season of peas.
- For larger tomatoes on tall indeterminate vines, prune plants to one or two stems. Tie them to stakes or fencing. Shorter determinate or bush tomatoes can sprawl along the ground, be kept tidy in short cages, or tied to stakes.
- Winter crops need to be planted in summer grow large enough to withstand the rigors of the cold season. Brussels sprouts, winter cabbage, and spring leeks can be sown in flats or pots in late June. Water well and transplant them into the winter garden about three weeks later.
- Feed summer vegetables with finished compost or a soluble organic fertilizer. Top the asparagus bed with a generous dressing of compost.
- It's not too late to plant or transplant sweet corn, green beans, edible soybeans, limas, southern peas, okra, cucumbers, squashes, melons (especially pumpkins for Halloween), peppers, eggplant, sweet potato sets, and tomatoes through the middle of the month.
- Seed heat-resistant lettuce like 'Black Seeded Simpson' and 'Reine de Glace' every couple of weeks. Use old plastic flats, bamboo, laths or interplant with taller plants, such as okra, to lightly shade the lettuce patches.
- Leafy herbs like basil will begin to bloom. Harvest the top at the first sign of flowing for bushier plants in the coming weeks.
- Start Brussels sprouts, collards and other brassicas in flats late in Jume for transplanting into the garden in early August.
- Regularly harvest your vegetables to keep their production going and get someone trustworthy to harvest for you if you leave town.
Woody and Ornamental:
- Enjoy the many roses, perennials, and shrubs now blooming. When you cut the flowers to admire them indoors, you are encouraging the plants to grow bushier and bloom longer. Get the flowers just as they are opening for longer life in the vase.
- Monitor your tree fruits, grapes and berries for insect activity and diseases on at least a weekly basis. From what I've seen, the most trouble-free and disease-resistant fruit crops for the Northwest are brambles (blackberries) and blueberries. Himalayan blackberries grow wild and blueberries thrive in the Northwest's acidic soils.
- When the June-bearing strawberries are done, clean up the bed and spread a top-dressing of compost. Do the same for everbearing strawberries.
- Fertilize fruit trees, trees and shrubs using an organic fertilizer this month and prune trees, shrubs and hedges for shape.
- Remove water sprouts on fruit trees, especially suckers growing from below the graft.
- New growth on conifers like pines can be trimmed, but don't cut into brown wood. It won't regenerate green vegetative growth. For good advice on pruning conifers, and other plants, get Cass Turnbull's Guide to Pruning.
- Prune your hydrangeas while flowering or right after ward - don't wait until the flowers fade.
Soil and Maintenance:
- Water in the cool of early morning to prevent spreading diseases and avoid losing water to evaporation. Make sure that ½ to 1" of water a week gets to the your vegetable garden and other demanding plants. Improve water usage in the garden by adding compost and using mulch. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses apply water to where it's needed, to the plants, and do so very efficiently.
- Consider getting a rain barrel. They provide excellent water for plants while sparing treated municipal water.
- Turn the compost piles you made this spring. Check your fall piles - that compost may be ready to use.
- Don't add too many grass clippings - they can turn your compost anaerobic and smelly. Leave those clippings on the lawn to break down.
- Solarizing is an effective non-chemical technique for controlling weeds and soil diseases. After harvesting the last of your spring crops, dig in the remains along with 2" or more of compost. Water well, cover with a sheet of clear plastic (not black!) and leave for 6 weeks. Keep the plastic clear of rain water and debris.
- Some gardeners sow cover crops in the bare areas of their gardens to help build the soil. Territorial Seeds has a selection of both summer-sown and fall-sown cover crops that will do well in zones 7 and 8. Rotate cover crops through your garden beds on a regular basis. Along with solarizing, cover cropping can help keep your soil healthy and fertile.
- Newsprint, black and white only, makes an effective (and cheap) mulch. Laying several sheets between your vegetable plants, making sure to cover the ground completely. Cover the paper with shredded leaves, tree service chips, pine needles, pine bark, or straw.
not fertilize fescue, bluegrass or ryegrass now. Keep it mowed high, at 3" inches, so it can out-compete weeds. Mow before the grass gets above 5 inches tall.
- Plan to either water your cool season lawn regularly, an inch per week, every week until fall rains resume, or let it go dormant. Dormant cool season lawns need a good watering about once every three weeks.
Critters Good and Otherwise
- There should be more than enough seed and bugs out for the birds, but make sure you keep fresh water out for them.
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