• June: Bulb Foliage

    Spring blooming bulb foliage should never be cut off.  Allow the foliage to wither and die back naturally.  The foliage is necessary to build up the store of food in the bulb for next year’s blooms.  And please – do not braid the foliage.

  • June: Pinching the Candles on Mugo Pines

    The various forms of mugo pines will develop new growth tips called candles.  These candles appear in late May and must be pruned back by one half to two thirds each spring to keep the shrub compact and dense.  This pruning should be done once the candle is fully extended but the needles on it are still short and held close to the candle – usually needs to be done before the middle of June.

  • June: Daily Check-up

    Stroll through your garden daily checking plants for disease and undesirable pests – problems can be minimized when discovered and dealt with early.

  • June: Bearded Iris

    As your bearded iris finish blooming, remove the flower stalk close to the foliage.  Don’t cut the foliage into a fan shape.  The foliage is needed for the photosynthesis process to build up strength for next year’s blooms.  Remove the foliage as it browns and shrivels.

     

  • June: Mulch Your Beds

    When the soil has warmed, add a 5-8 cm layer of organic mulch to combat weeds, retain soil moisture and improve the soil. To prevent fungal disease, keep mulch away from crowns of perennials, stems of shrubs and trunks of trees. Chopped and composted leaves, grass clippings, or backyard compost and grass clippings work very well, or you can purchase a good commercial product such as shredded or composted pine bark.

  • June: Welcome a Toad to Your Garden

    Toads are great garden helpers, eating thousands of insects. To attract them, provide the right environment. Toads are amphibious, needing access to a shallow pond when breeding and enjoying a moist environment all the time. Near the pond, place logs, rocks, plants or piles of leaves, under which the toads can burrow into the cool damp earth and take refuge from the sun.

  • June: Stake Floppy Perennials

    Delphiniums, lilies and even big flowering peonies, have a tendency to flop over and require support. It’s best to provide it as early as possible, before the plant becomes too big. Simple bamboo or plastic-coated metal stakes and grids are inexpensive, as well as easy to use and to camouflage among the plants. For a more rustic look, you can prop up plants with the forked branches left from pruning your shrubs.

  • June: Make the Most of Your Vegetable Garden

    For maximum productivity, employ successive sowing. Early season lettuce, mixed greens, spinach, turnips, beets and radishes can be sown every 2-3 weeks for a constant supply. As the weather warms up, replace the early crops with others. For example, once the peas are harvested, replace them with pole beans, which will produce a good crop until frost.

  • May: Grass Clippings

    Leave grass clippings on your lawn as they are a natural source of nitrogen for the grass.  If your clippings are unusually heavy, spread them out rather than leaving them in a pile or windrow.

  • May: The Chelsea Chop

    To create sturdier plants that need less staking and to delay or extend the flowering period, cut some of your perennials back at the end of May (when the Chelsea Flower Show happens). Simply cut the plants back by half. To stagger the flowering period, if you have several of the same plants,  cut only some of them back. This technique works well for Phlox, Sedum, Rudbeckia and Echinacea.