June in the Southern California Garden
Each month has its special joys and tasks in the garden. Below is a suggested calendar for June. Remember that gardening depends on the weather, so tasks, bloom season and activities may vary from year to year.
You can download this calendar at: http://www.slideshare.net/cvadheim/monthly-garden-tasks-june
Best of Show:
§ Flowers: tree/shrub: Cercocarpus spp., Comarostaphylis diversifolia, Eriogonum giganteum, Heteromeles arbutifolia, Holodiscus discolor, Malosma laurina, *Philadelphus lewisii, * Romneya coulteri, Rosa californica; smaller shrubs: Cactus spp., *Abutilon palmeri, Grindelia spp., Eriogonum spp., Keckiella cordifolia; Annuals/perennials/bulbs: Lobelia cardinalis, *Monardella spp., Oenothera spp., Penstemon spp., Perityle incana, Senecio flaccidus, Trichostema lanatum, Asclepias species, Brodiaea spp., *Erigeron spp., Helianthus annuus, Limonium californicum, Linanthus spp., *Madia elegans, Phacelia spp., Silene laciniata, * Sphaeralcea ambigua, Trichostema lanciolatum, Trifolium spp.
§ Fruits/berries: *Berberis (Mahonia) spp, * Rhamnus spp., Rhus integrifolia & ovata
§ Consider ways to make your garden more friendly for native birds, butterflies, pollinators. Remember they need food, water, places to sun/perch/hide as well as nesting/breeding places.
§ Move bulb pots to cool dry place after blooming
§ Great month to remove unwanted trees/shrubs
§ Begin removing old lawns, ivy – their removal may take through the summer and into fall.
§ Fertilize containers if needed
§ Softwood cuttings from woody shrubs and trees (including those you prune this month); keep moist in a shady spot until well-rooted, 6-10 weeks
§ Riparian/pond and other Zone 3 plants
§ Direct-seed warm season sod grasses
§ Plant warm-season vegetables from plants:
§ Last chance to plant bean, corn, cucumber and summer squash in the ground from seed
Watering: major watering month
§ Taper off water for late spring bulbs and spring wildflowers after blooming ceases; Adjust your summer watering schedule to account for foggy days (if any); other than that, you’re into the summer watering schedule
§ Prune to shape/train: Ceanothus, Arctostaphylos, Carpenteria (after blooming but not when foggy)
§ Prune for safety & plant health
§ Hedge-shear if needed as shrubs begin summer growth phase
§ Mow (if desired) warm-season sod-forming grasses, sedges before they begin major growth phase
§ Dead-head Salvia, Penstemon & Rosa to prolong bloom
§ Divide warm season grasses: Acnatherum spp,, Boutetoua spp., Muhlenbergia rigens, Sporobolis airoides, and Pleuraphis jamesii begin to grow with the warm days. This is the best time to divide these summer grasses.
Weeds/Diseases/Pests: major weeding month- summer weeds emerge
§ Collect seed from spring wildflowers; after drying, make up seed packets to give as gifts
§ Take cuttings of Artemisia, Salvias for seasonings, vinegars
§ Collect/dry new summer leaves for tea
§ Try a new recipe using California flavors. Hint: see the California Gourmet postings on Mother Nature’s Backyard blog
§ See also May suggestions
Enjoying the garden:
§ Visit a native plant garden/botanic garden; what tricks are they using to make the garden more interesting this time of year?
§ Look for Monarchs and other butterflies – do you have enough flowers to attract them?
§ Buy a bird book so you can learn more about the birds visiting your garden
§ Do something to celebrate California Invasive Species Action Week (June 2-10, 2017) and National Pollinator Week (June 18-24, 2018)