By Teresa Watkins
What To Do In Your Landscape
Average temperatures: High 91 Low 71
Average rainfall 7.35 inches
First day of summer June 20.
What to plant
Vegetables: Boniato, calabaza, chayote, cherry tomatoes, dasheen, malanga, okra, roselle, southern peas, Seminole pumpkin, sweet cassava, sweet potatoes and yard-long beans.
Flowers: Angelonia, begonias, bush daisy, butterfly plant, caladium, cat's whiskers, celosia, coleus, coreopsis, Dahlberg daisy, firespike, four-o'clock, gaillardia, gerbera daisy, ginger, goldenrod, impatiens, kalanchoe, lantana, lion?s ear, marigolds, melampodium, Mexican petunia, Mexican sunflower, moon flower, Porterweed, pentas, periwinkle, portulaca, purslane, salvia, showy primrose, shrimp plant, Stokes aster, sunflower, torenia and zinnias.
Herbs: Anise, basil, bay laurel, chives, dill, ginger, marjoram, mint, oregano, sage and thyme.
Bulbs-type plants: Achimenes, African iris, agapanthus, amaryllis, blackberry lily, bulbine, caladiums, canna, crinum, crocosmia, day lily, eucharis lily, gladiolus, gloriosa lily, peacock ginger, society garlic, rain lily and walking iris.
Lawn feeding rules vary throughout Florida; check the rules in your county. Most counties have summer fertilizer ban from June 1st through October 1st.
Delay fertilizer and weed control treatments until you can water or the rains return.
If you skipped a spring feeding, make a fertilizer application soon if permitted.
Yellow lawns can often be greened up with an iron only application where permitted.
Some soils resist water penetration; try a wetting agent to help moisten the soil.
Weeds are also making good growth; spot killing with a product for your turf type is best.
Fill bare areas or start new lawns with seed, plugs or sod for the grass type desired.
Avoid sodding shady areas during summer to prevent rot problems caused by the wet weather.
Water new lawns every day for the first week, every other day the second week, and every three days the third week. By end of 4 weeks, lawns are established and only need 1 - 1? inches of water a week. Overwatering causes new lawns to decline.
Adjust and replace sprinklers to only water the lawn, not driveways and sidewalks.
Track the water lawns receive; up to 3/4-inch is normally adequate at each watering or rainfall
Chinch bugs cause yellow to brown areas in St. Augustine lawns; treat when noticed.
Sod webworms are likely to arrive this month due to the warm winter.
Notice moths in your turfgrass? Wait until chewing damage is noted to treat.
Maintain the lawn at one height; learn the proper height for your lawn type.
Sharpen the mower blade after five mowings.
Mow a different direction each time the lawn is cut to avoid ruts in the turf.
Aerate and immediately water lawns that are compacted, hard to wet or have nematode problems.
Replace constantly declining turf in dense shade with mulch or a ground cover.
Due to severe drought in 2023, some plants and trees suffered die-back that needs pruning.
Add new plants when the rainy season returns to help with the watering.
Some plants may be hard to find or small sizes due to heavy demand.
During hot weather new plants may need daily watering for several weeks.
Wet the root balls before adding new plants to the landscape
Tropical bromeliads, orchids, spathiphyllum, aluminum plants and dracaena like shady sites.
Remove old soil from containers and improve beds with organic matter before planting.
Groom perennials, roses and spring flowering shrubs to remove declining flowers and stems.
Plant gingers, rain lilies, crinum lilies and blackberry lilies for summer color.
Hurricane season begins June 1; it?s not too late to have your trees checked and trimmed.
Make plans now to protect plants and landscape accessories from wind and storm damage.
Don?t let weeds grow out of control; remove by hand or spot kill with herbicides.
Complete azalea pruning during early June.
Groom roses to remove old flowers and twiggy stems: feed monthly and control black spot.
Give camellias & gardenias the care they need; water, fertilizer, mulch and scale insect control.
Trim back poinsettias 4- to 6-inches after a foot of new growth to keep them compact.
Established plants do not need watering during the rainy season.
Hot summer days make it difficult to transplant trees and shrubs; wait until cooler weather.
Root cuttings of shrubs and foliage plants to grow more plants.
Feed shrubs and palms with a slow release fertilizer where permitted.
Give container gardens a weekly feeding or use a slow release fertilizer as labeled.
Divide orchids and bromeliads outgrowing their containers.
Feed orchids every other week with a liquid or use a slow release fertilizer as labeled.
Orchids and bromeliads grow best in the shade of a tree; water frequently when hot & dry.
Feed lilies and other aquatic plants in home water gardens.
Trim formal hedges after they produce 4- to 6-inches of new growth.
Groom hanging baskets removing old flowers and lanky shoots.
Clean and refill bird baths as needed.
Place Summit Responsible Solutions Moquito Bits and Dunks in containers and places that fill with water.
Remove sprouts from the base of crape myrtle, maple and similar trees.
Vegetable and fruit care
Keep vegetable plantings moist and fertilize monthly to continue harvests into summer.
Make fertilizer applications every 3 to 4 weeks or use as slow release product as instructed.
Check planting lists to determine what your family likes for summer planting.
Mail order seed companies often offer special deals as they close out their spring season.
Obtain the seeds you need now for summer and fall planting; store in the refrigerator.
Many herbs can survive the summer if kept moist but not wet and lightly fertilized.
Continue cutting and using herbs to keep the plants productive; preserve extras.
When gardens will not receive summer plantings consider soil solarization to bake out pests.
Sweet potatoes are easy to grow: start transplants from a spouting grocery store root.
Keep weeds in and near the garden under control to prevent pest problems for fall.
Continue to add fruit trees, shrubs and vines from containers to the landscape.
Learn the pests of your new fruits and decide if you need a control plan.
Reshape blueberry shrubs and hedges and prune blackberries.
Feed bananas monthly; harvest stalks when the first hand formed begins to yellow.
Feed pineapples with a slow release fertilizer following label instructions.
Provide citrus trees proper fertilizing and pest control to avoid the greening disease.
Foliage and house plant care
Find a spot in the sunny garden for Easter lilies; plants gradually decline & regrow in winter.
Give declining foliage plants a rest outdoors in the shade.
Repot plants needing a new container.
Feed plants outdoors every two weeks and indoors monthly.
Use a slow release fertilizer as instructed to stretch the time between feedings.
Wash away insects with soapy water.
Remove declining leaves, stems and blooms; pinch the tips of shoots to cause branching.