The First Day of Summer (Summer Solstice) 2013
Friday, June 21st, is the longest day of the year and it presents the
perfect opportunity to get out and garden! Here is a list of things to
do for your garden in June.
Garden To-Do's for June include:
Flower Bed Maintenance: Deadhead, fertilize, and water those flower beds
Garden Design: If you live anywhere near Texas, like we do, June is a good month to do some indoor gardening work. Specifically, this is a good time to get out your pencil and graph paper and start planning. Consider planning a water-wise landscape this year. And remember, GROW NATIVE and GROW GREEN.
Soil & Mulch:
Mulch, mulch, mulch. I can't say enough about the benefits of mulching
when it comes to conserving water and reducing your work load. Can you
even mulch a vertical garden? Yes, the Wally Pockets have a big enough
soil surface volume that mulching can be of great benefit.
As of June 4, 2013, 95% of Texas is in some form of drought conditions,
and our state reservoirs are only 67% full. Here in Austin we are in
Stage 2 water restrictions, meaning we can only use Hose-End Sprinklers
one day a week. However, us vertical gardeners use drip irrigation
systems, which are exempt from the water restrictions due to their
increased efficiency. To see instructions for building your own
Automatic Drip Irrigation System for your vertical garden, click here.
Drip irrigation systems are so targeted and precise that they will not
only take less from our precious water stores but also reduce your
monthly water bill. Win win.
Plant Care: Heat
stress can make plants more vulnerable to pests. Be ready with your
favorite method for controlling pests. We are big fans of using natural pest predators for our gardens. This year we have seen a natural rise in the
lady bug population due to last years crazy aphid outbreak. They are
doing a nice job keeping pests at bay, but we have our old favorite Neem
oil (organic pesticide derived from the neem tree of India) on stand by
just in case.
Tree, Shrub & Vine Care:
Check yours for signs of drought stress, such as browning of leaf edges,
leaf yellowing or wilting, and dropping foliage. Not all trees and
shrubs will need supplemental watering, but even the most drought
tolerant will need a little love in times of severe drought.
is the time to raise that mower height to help your lawn withstand the
coming heat. For Bermuda, shoot for 2 inches. This is a tough grass. For
St. Augustine, 4 inches is good. And 6 inches for Buffalo grass will do
it. This month, keep your eye out for drought stress and chinch bug
damage. If you see the signs, act fast.
Veggies, Herbs & Fruit: Summer
produce is starting to roll in! Black-eyed peas, green beans, onions,
peaches, peppers, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes, watermelons, cucumbers,
eggplant, and more abound about this time of year. Our Vertical Veggie
Gardens are throwing out Patio Tomatoes, Purple Beauty Bell Peppers,
Little Finger Eggplant, and Bush Pickle Cucumbers left and right.
Maintenance tasks for our gardens this month are: harvesting (that is
the fun one), watering (we have automatic drip irrigation systems that
do the watering for us, but we always monitor each plant to be sure it
is getting enough - especially as the temps rise), and monitor pests.
Birds & Butterflies: This is a great month for bird watchers! If you're not careful, you can watch them eat your winnings. Throw a bird net around your prized possessions and relax as you admire their beauty and quirky little bird behaviors.