Coastal – Brad Fowler
- Many vegetables like sweet potatoes, southern peas, summer squash, and okra can still be planted in June to be harvested throughout the summer and into the fall.
- Check your tomatoes and squash for blossom end rot and treat as necessary. Adequate and uniform moisture levels in the soil can be very beneficial in mitigating this issue.
- With temperatures getting considerably warmer in June it may be tempting to overwater turf and ornamental plants. Make sure to use proper watering practices to help avoid diseases like large patch and root rot that are fueled by too much moisture.
- It may be necessary to begin management practices of insect pests such as mole crickets, but make sure to scout and identify insects properly before treatment.
- Now is the time to apply fire ant bait in the lawn if it hasn’t already been done. Baits need to be applied when ants are actively foraging. Fire ants normally forage when ground surface temperatures are between 70 °F and 95 °F degrees.
- Palms may require multiple fertilizer applications throughout the growing season (April – September) since they are frequently affected by nutrient deficiencies. It is always important to have your soil tested to understand where pH and nutrients levels are currently before developing a plan of action.
- Indoor plants can benefit from being moved outside during the summer but be careful not to place them immediately in direct sunlight as they may be damaged. Utilize shady areas to gradually get them used to being outside.
- Use caution when trying to control weeds in turf this time of year. Turf may be damaged by herbicides when temperatures get above 85 °F. Additionally, herbicides do not need to be applied to turf that is under drought stress, which can be more likely as temperatures get warmer.
Midlands- Paul Thompson
- Scout the vegetable garden several times a week to look for insect and disease problems.
- Pluck off tomato leaves that have early blight or bacterial leaf spot.
- De-sucker your tomato plants and root for later planting (video).
- Keep your garden evenly moist to help prevent blossom end rot (as much as 1-1/2 inches per week based on rain and temperatures).
- Warm season lawns might need a second application of fertilizer towards the end of the month based on growth rate, color and maintenance level (do not fertilize Fescue during the summer).
- Fescue lawns may need a preventative fungicide application for brown patch and gray leaf spot diseases.
- Raise mower height to the highest recommended height for your lawn species to increase heat and drought tolerance.
- Prune spring flowering shrubs, if needed, before the end of the month so they have time to produce flower buds this season for next spring’s blooms.
- If you have yet to mulch, apply 2 to 3 inches around trees and shrubs to conserve soil moisture and cool the soil for better root growth. Keep mulch several inches away from stems.
- Japanese beetles are out this month. Deal with them quickly or else they invite all their friends which is what causes the severe damage. The good news is they are only around for about three weeks.
- Any watering that wets the leaves should be done early in the morning to conserve moisture and so the leaves can dry before nightfall to help prevent leaf diseases.
- Never fertilize when the soil is dry.
Upstate – Mary Vargo
- Be on the lookout for Japanese beetles! Adults emerge mid-summer and feed on the leaves of over 300 plant species. Handpicking is one helpful strategy.
- While you’re already in the scouting mindset, be on the lookout for other developing pest populations and proceed accordingly to avoid extensive damage. Proper pest identification is essential; contact the local county extension office for assistance and management options.
- Not all the bugs in your garden are bad guys! By planting certain plant species in your garden, you can attract more of these good guys to keep the bad guys in check.
- Blossom end rot can be a real problem as the fruit on your tomatoes begins to form; symptoms are water-soaked spots on the blossom end of the fruit.
- Keep on sowing those warm-season veggies like cantaloupe, melons, and okra!
- When transplanting warm-season annual flowers or vegetables into your garden beds this month, choose an overcast or cloudy day rather than a sunny, hot, and humid day. This reduces stress on the plant and ensures successful and faster establishment.
- Cut and come again flower favorites like zinnias, cosmos, and marigolds make excellent plant choices for adding color to the summer landscape and lend themselves well to beautiful flower arrangements! Use fragrant foliage fillers for your flower arrangements. Basil, dill, mint, oregano, and many other herbs work well for this purpose and smell delightful!
- Are you thinking about establishing a new warm season grass? Better do it soon! The best time to plant is in the spring and summer for centipede, zoysia, Bermuda, and St. Augustine. Wait until the cool fall season to plant cool-season grasses like fescue.
- Warm-season lawns are actively growing, which is an excellent time to aerate! Aerating can dramatically improve soils where compaction is restricting turfgrass growth and leading to decline.
- Lawn diseases can be a real problem for some; problems with brown patch and dollar spots are common for warm-season grasses, even more so if you had issues with them last year. Be on the lookout for early detection of symptoms.
- Turf pests to be aware of and on the lookout for are chinch bugs, mole crickets, spittlebugs, and white grubs.
- Warm-season weed control is in full force, be on the lookout for pesky Crabgrass and Goosegrass. A pre-emergent herbicide application should be made this month to complement the one applied in March to ensure better control of grassy weeds.
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