June 2014 Gardening Calendar
June 1, 2014 | 1190 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! https://wilsoncountynews.com/subscribe-today.php?
Wildflowers made a good showing this spring in many parts of south-central Texas. Any place that received a share of the erratic rainfall this winter translated it into a showy wildflower display.
Most of those wildflowers are now in the ugly stage. They have quit blooming and are working on producing seed for next spring’s crop. It is hard to resist cutting down wildflowers in the ugly stage, but that means there will be a limited seed supply for next year’s flowers on that site.
To perk up the wildflower growing area during seed production times, plant cosmos seeds or transplants. Cosmos are available in pink, lavender, white, gold and yellow. The yellow and gold selections are the toughest and showiest. Cosmos seeds planted now will bloom and reseed all summer to cover the wildflower’s growing area with a cosmos color show.
In the vegetable garden, the tomatoes should be ready to harvest. If they are left on the vine after they show color, expect the birds and squirrels to “share” the crop with you. It is best to harvest the fruit when it shows any orange color and let it mature in the house, out of reach of the beloved birds and not-so-beloved squirrels. It is not too late to plant pepper transplants or okra and southern peas by seed.
Last month I predicted that the Mexican olive would not bloom until fall, because they were defoliated by the freezes. I was wrong! They began blooming in April and are looking great all over the region. What a great plant for area landscapes.
Lawns are not in the best shape because of the lack of rain and resultant drought restrictions, but our lawns are tough and will recover quickly when the rains resume. Sprinkle irrigate every two or three weeks to keep the roots functioning. Mow on a regular basis to control weeds and keep everything neat.
If you decide to reduce the size of your flower garden because of the lack of rain, consider containers for high impact and reduced water demands. Check out the decorative containers at your favorite nursery. In the shade, plant begonias, caladiums, coleus and pentas in your new containers. Begonias are the most drought-tolerant of the shade plants. In full sun, consider zinnias, vinca, moss roses and purslane. Vinca, moss rose and purslane are all drought-tolerant.
Keep close watch on your newly planted trees and shrubs. Established plants can survive a long drought but trees and shrubs planted in the last two years probably have not produced an adequate root system to survive dry conditions. Hand water them deeply every two to three weeks to protect them from dry conditions.
Mealy cup sage and Turk’s cap are two of the native color plants blooming in May. They will continue to make a good show in June and through the summer.
Mealy cup sage, Salvia farinaceae, is drought-tolerant and pest-free. Deer do not eat Mealy cup sage, but butterflies and hummingbirds seek it out for nectar.
There are a number of versions of mealy cup sage, including some that are very large and some that are small. Victoria is a common selection. It is 18 inches tall, grows upright and makes a good garden border. Mealy cup sage can also be used as a specimen plant and in large drifts. Grow it in full sun.
Turk’s cap does very well in the shade. It freezes back to the roots most winters but comes back to 3 to 4 feet tall each summer. The foliage is a rich green that provides an attractive background for the quarter-size carmine-red blooms that appear throughout the plant. Hummingbirds seek the flowers for nectar, and fruit-eating birds quickly eat the cherry-size fruit. Use Turk’s cap for a tall ground cover under shade trees. Like mealy blue sage, Turk’s cap is a good xeriscape plant.
Calvin Finch Ph.D. is a Horticulturist and Director at Texas A&M Water Conservation and Technology Center.
|Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post comments:
|Other Agriculture Today
| Cattle groups have beef with meat from northern... (September 17, 2014)
Cochineal not a threat to cactuses (September 17, 2014)
Enroll in cotton program by Oct. 7 (September 17, 2014)
Hay & Forage Report (September 17, 2014)
Livestock Market Reports (September 17, 2014)
Private Applicator Training Sept. 25 (September 17, 2014)
RAINFALL REPORT (September 17, 2014)
TDA Market Report (September 17, 2014)
TSCRA to host meeting (September 17, 2014)
Area competitors shine in Texas Youth Rodeo finals (September 10, 2014)
Disaster assistance deadline nears (September 10, 2014)
Hay & Forage Report (September 10, 2014)
Livestock Market Reports (September 10, 2014)
Mexican milkweed for Monarch breeding (September 10, 2014)
RAINFALL REPORT (September 10, 2014)
Rye seed shortage may call for revised strategy (September 10, 2014)
Swine exhibitors update (September 10, 2014)
TDA Market Report (September 10, 2014)
Free fall beef cattle program is Sept. 17 (September 3, 2014)
Hay & Forage Report (September 3, 2014)
Livestock Market Reports (September 3, 2014)
Planting cool weather annuals (September 3, 2014)
Ranchers weigh options on replacement heifers... (September 3, 2014)
Slagle leads way in high school rodeo circuit (September 3, 2014)
TDA Market Report (September 3, 2014)
Time to purchase show broilers (September 3, 2014)
Validation for county horse show canceled (September 3, 2014)
Winter garden water issues ‘big time serious!’ (September 3, 2014)
September 2014 Gardening Calendar (September 1, 2014)