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Agriculture & Outdoors

June 2013 Gardening Calendar

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June 1, 2013 | 6,457 views | Post a comment

This is an occasional column available to all users. Watch for Calvin Finch's weekly column, South Texas Gardener, every week in the Wilson County News. Subscribe today!

June is normally a big rain month. If we receive our normal rainfall or greater than normal rainfall, there is a chance that we may not slip any deeper into drought restrictions this summer. Wish for rain, but even if we get rain be careful about your water use. It is never acceptable to waste water.

For a weekly recommendation on how much water to apply to your lawn, visit SAWS website to sign up for the Gardening E- newsletter. It uses information concerning your grass variety, the amount of shade and the weather to recommend the amount of irrigation that the lawn will require to stay healthy. The newsletter also provides other gardening information. You do not have to be a SAWS customer or even a San Antonio resident to receive the Gardening E-newsletter. The SAWS website is

June is a good time to combat grubs if you had an infestation last year. Find a soil insecticide at your favorite nursery and apply it as per the label instructions. Grubs eat the roots of the lawn grass and produce a moth eaten-looking symptom. The soil insecticide will also control chinch bugs.

In the flower garden zinnias should be at their peak. To encourage them to keep blooming, use the blooms for cut flowers or dead head (remove) the spent flowers. Hummingbirds and butterflies like zinnias for a nectar source.

It is not too late to plant zinnias by seed or transplant. You can also plant cosmos, moss roses, vinca and purslane for annual color in full sun. In the shade consider pentas, begonias, caladium or coleus.

Impatiens are a favorite shade plant for some gardeners but I find them too sensitive to our summer heat. Even in deep shade, they decline as temperatures reach 95 degrees.

On the patio, pentas for the shade and zinnias for the sun provide great color. They also bring the hummingbirds and butterflies in close for observation.

It is also a good time to plant a firebush in a container on the patio. This perennial will grow to 2 feet in a 3-gallon container and is the favorite hummingbird plant. The aggressive little birds will conduct dogfights for possession of the firebush and its red flowers.

In the vegetable garden you should be harvesting tomatoes. Keep them well watered and apply 2 tablespoons of slow release lawn fertilizer every 2-3 weeks. Keep up your seaweed extract spray under the leaves to keep spider mites under control.

The onions should be ready to harvest now. The stalks fall over when they are done growing. Pull the onions out of the ground and allow them to cure on the soil surface for a few days before moving them to store them in mesh bags in an air conditioned room. It also works just to spread them on a picnic table in the shade. Bring them in the house as you need them.

Harvest the peaches as the background cover changes from green to golden. Control stink bugs with carbaryl (Sevin).

If you have the time and the ambition (and long=sleeved gloves), cut out the old fruiting wood of the blackberries now that you have harvested the fruit. The longer you wait the hotter it gets and the more tangled the bed is with both old and new wood.

Keep your hummingbird feeder clean by rinsing and refilling every week. Use a bottle brush to clean it more thoroughly every month.

Calvin Finch Ph.D. is a Horticulturist and Director with Texas A&M Water Conservation and Technology Center.

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