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Gardening: Image

Several types of vegetables develop very rapidly after pollination and must be harvested on a frequent basis. While “log-size” summer squash is a novelty, most elongated varieties are at their prime when 2 inches or less in diameter and 6 to 8 inches long .

Photo Credit: William M. Johnson

June’s Gardening Calendar

By Dr. William M. Johnson, Galveston County Extension Agent - Horticulture

June 11, 2007

Gardening for Butterflies & Hummingbirds

DATE: Saturday, June 9, 2007

TIME: 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.

PLACE: Galveston County Extension Office, 5115 Highway 3, Dickinson

EVENTS: Educational seminar presented by Master Gardener Deborah Repasz will cover how to create a garden for hummingbirds and butterflies, including plant selection and other items needed in the habitat.

No fee, but pre-registration is required as seating is limited (281-534-3413, ext. 1-2 or

The cool fronts that graced our area and set a few records during the middle of May were a very welcome surprise. Indeed, day and night temperatures for most of the month of May have been very enjoyable. Those days will become a memory with the arrival of June, which signals the start of our warm summer season.

Even though our summers tend to be on the warm side, productive home gardeners still can gather colorful bouquets from the landscape and fresh vegetables from the garden. The productive landscape and garden will call for early summer care, and important and timely gardening chores are as follows.

CRIME DETERRENT: School’s out and June is vacation time for many. You know that would-be burglars look for newspapers piling up on the lawn and mail not being picked up from the mail box for clues that you gone.

Before going away for a vacation, also be sure to make arrangements for mowing the lawn. A lawn that is left unmowed, especially if yours is the only one unmowed in the area, can heighten the interest of burglars in your kingdom. While you're at it, make sure that your potted and other garden plants are also cared for properly.

TRANSPLANTING LANDSCAPE TREES: Container-grown or balled-and-burlapped plants can be set out to replace dead plants or to renew the landscape. Fertilizer should not be added to the soil placed back into the planting hole when transplanting trees as root injury may result. However, a light application of fertilizer can be beneficial if applied aboveground after new growth occurs.

HARVESTING VEGETABLES: Harvest vegetables frequently to insure continual production. When not harvested on a frequent enough basis, many vegetables will reduce production of flowers and channel their energy into seed production in the mature fruit already on plants.

CONTAINER PLANTS: Container plants and hanging baskets should be watered often during dry spells. A monthly feeding with a soluble house plant fertilizer will encourage growth and production. Do you like hanging baskets but are concerned about frequency of watering? Then try growing plants in a soil mix that also contains one of the water-holding polymers that are on the market. You won't have to water as frequently and plants tend to perform better because soil moisture levels tend to be more uniform.

SUMMER ANNUALS: It is not too late to plant colorful summer annuals during June and early summer, especially if transplants are used. Plant dependable summer annuals such as vinca, impatiens, salvia, and portulaca.

To keep flowering annuals on the grow, remove the faded blooms often, which will induce more branching and more blooms. Seasonal flowering plants will also profit from an occasional feeding with a light application of a balanced fertilizer.

PESTICIDES: If your efforts to chemically control insects and diseases seem to be to no avail, your pesticides may have lost their punch. Insecticides, fungicides, and other pesticides left over from last year may have deteriorated because of several factors, including a poorly sealed container, high storage temperatures or chemical breakdown caused by extended exposure to bright light.

During summer months, do not apply liquid insecticides and fungicides during the warmest period of the day as leaves may be burned. Always read the label on any pesticide you contemplate using. Review each label of each product you use each time you use it and follow directions carefully.

MULCH PLANTS: We certainly had an unusually cool—and thus quite pleasant—spring. Rainfall has been ample in most areas of the county. Now that June has arrived, the heat is on. Given our rather atypical weather thus far, I see no need for going out on a limb to speculate whether the summer will be dry or amply moist.

If a dry weather pattern sets in, there will be an ever increasing need for watering the garden and landscape trees. Soil moisture, essential for plant growth and health, may be conserved by applying a summer mulch over the top soil.

Choose a clean mulch—one that is free of weeds and that will remain loose and well-aerated. Pine bark, compost, pine needle and oak leaf mulches are excellent for conserving moisture. These mulches also serve to keep the soil cool and limit weed seed germination and/or weed growth.

If you have a new landscape tree, it will be well worth the time and effort to mulch the area from the base of the tree trunk out to at least 3 feet. Weeds and lawn grass are aggressive competitors for nutrients and moisture. As a result, newly planted trees often struggle along the first year or two.

Your landscape tree will grow up to 50% faster when mulched. Apply a 4-to-6 inch layer (after settling) to landscape trees. Applying an overly deep layer of mulch next to the trunk of a tree or shrub should be avoided as doing so can increase the incidence of insect pest and disease problems.

FREE ADVICE: June gardening days should also include taking time to just sit back in your favorite lawn chair on a long summer evening to just enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Dr. Johnson is a horticulturist with the Galveston County Extension Office of Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University. Visit his web site at

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Gardening: Ornamental Grasses - September 8, 2004 article

Gardening: Don't Let Landscape Become A High-Maintenance Nightmare - September 22, 2004 article

Gardening: Oct. 10 Plant Sale & Seminar To Feature Butterfly Gardening - Butterflies Bring Color, Motion to Garden - October 2, 2004 article

Gardening: Plant It And They Will Come: Getting the Butterflies of Galveston County to Grace Your Yard - October 2, 2004 article

Gardening: Rose Propagation & Seasonal Decorating Workshops To Be Held - October 13, 2004 article

Gardening: Extension Office To Sponsor Open House On October 29, Seasonal Decorations and Onion and Garlic Workshops - October 20, 2004 article

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Gardening: November Is Pansy Time - November 6, 2004 article

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Gardening: Gardeners' December Checklist Includes Citrus Show On Dec. 9 - December 3, 2004 article

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Gardening: Trees and Shrubs - December 23, 2004 article

Gardening: Cold Weather Impact - January 4, 2005 article

Gardening: Gardeners' Checklist For January Includes Several Educational Programs - January 7, 2005 article

Gardening:Announcing the 2005 Galveston County Master Gardener Training - January 13, 2005 article

Gardening:Peach & Plum Growers' Workshop To Be Held Saturday, January 29 - January 19, 2005 article

Gardening: Gardening for Texas Wildlife - January 28, 2005 article

Gardening: Wide Variety of Citrus to Be Available at February 5 Fruit Tree Sale and Home Citrus Production - January 31, 2005 article

Gardening: Fruit Trees Of The Gods Featured In February 5 Master Gardener Plant Sale - February 2, 2005 article

Gardening: "If I Were A Tomato, I Would Want To Be Grown In Texas . . . Galveston County, That Is!" Workshop to be held February 12 - February 9, 2005 article

Gardening: February Is Rose Pruning Time...Attend Rose Care Seminar to Learn How - February 16, 2005 article

Gardening: Extension Activities At The Home & Garden Show On Feb. 26-27 - February 23, 2005 article

Gardening: March Gardening Calendar Includes Seminar On Butterfly Gardening - March 2, 2005 article

Gardening: Gardeners' Q&As From The Galveston Home & Garden Show - March 10, 2005 article

Gardening: Extension Offers Program On "Living To Be 100 . . . A Commonsense Approach." - March 16, 2005 article

Gardening: Program On Plumeria Offered On March 26- March 29, 2005 article

Gardening: Garden Checklist For April Includes Pecan Field Day - April 6, 2005 article

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Gardening: Fresh Blueberries From Your Home Garden Seminar On Saturday, April 23 - April 22, 2005 article

Gardening: Learn About Weed Control - April 27, 2005 article

Gardening: Home Gardening Chores and May 14 Home Fruit Growers’ Tour - May 5, 2005 article

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