Today’s blog is about some of the dos and the don’ts when it comes to gardening in June in San Antonio. Hopefully most of you are signed up for our e-newsletter and get your monthly tips at the beginning of the month, along with our seasonal ads and coupons. If not, sign up anytime by clicking the link and scrolling to the bottom of the page. If you missed the newsletter this weekend, we’re highlighting some of the most important gardening tips to be aware of during the beginning of summer here in San Antonio.
…have someone look after your plants while you go on vacation. Find someone who loves plants or at least likes them a lot (and they should probably love or like you a lot too) and offer them something amazing in return for tending to your plants. See our blog, “When Plants Aren’t Invited On Vacation”, for more tips and info on this subject.
…apply grub control as this is the month the chafer beetle burrows into your lawns and lays its eggs, which become the grubs, which eat the roots of your turf, which destroys your beautiful lawn and all your hard work! Phew! You can choose from a chemical product like Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Control granules (be sure to read label for any follow up instructions), or opt for organic control with beneficial nematodes.
…mulch, mulch, mulch. This single gardening task offers multiple benefits throughout the summer. You’ll deter weeds, regulate soil temperature and moisture, create a barrier between your plants and pests that creep along soil, and help prevent rain/water from splashing up on the foliage of your plants which will in turn help prevent disease issues from developing.
Get a jump on…
…seeding some transplants for fall. Yes! Really! You don’t have to do it inside like you do in late winter/early spring. You can grow seeds in pots and trays outside in an area that receives morning sun and afternoon shade. Just remember they are there and keep them moist. So start collecting seeds, cuttings, however you like to propagate plants and have some fun knowing you’ll be way ahead of the curve come fall planting!
…creating healthy soil for your gardens for early fall planting. If you are using up what’s left of your spring garden and aren’t planning on adding anything to it through the summer (like okra, Malabar spinach, sweet potatoes, etc…) you can take advantage of the sun’s heat and solarize your garden. See the link for more details. Create healthy soil now, cause fall planting happens at the end of summer.
…starting a compost pile to use in fall. With lawn mowing season in full swing, you’ve got a lot of nitrogen available in those grass clippings to mix in with carbon items (leaves, twigs, etc…) to get a great compost pile cooking. See the link for info on how to get started with composting; an easy, cheap way to fortify your soil.
…planting trees and shrubs this month and through August. It’ll be just too darn hot out there. Your trees and shrubs will struggle to get established in the San Antonio heat during the summer months. Fall is the absolute best time for planting trees and shrubs if you can wait. If you can’t possibly wait for some reason, just know that you will be using A LOT of water and time and energy to keep them alive.
…applying fungicides, insecticides, weed killers, horticultural oils in the heat of the day. You will risk some serious burn damage to your plants. Only apply in the morning hours or after the sun is waning in the evenings. Weed killers shouldn’t be used on lawns now at anytime. Hand pull, and mow and bag, to keep weeds under control; then make sure you apply a pre-emergent in fall and get on a regular schedule if weeds plague your lawn.
…planting tomatoes in the heat of June and July (no matter what kind of deals you find at the grocery or big box stores). Tomatoes just won’t set fruit in the heat. If you are a tomato-crazed type of person, pot up those seeds for early fall (like mentioned above in “get a jump on…”).
Hope these tips see you through the first part of our San Antonio summer. Here it comes, folks, get ready!
~The Happy Gardener