It’s June and your vegetable gardening is in full swing. The vegetable starts have been planted, the seedlings are well established, and everything is going great. However, that doesn’t mean you can just sit back with a lemonade and watch your garden grow. There are June to-do’s that are necessary in making sure you have a successful garden harvest come autumn.
Here are 5 to-do’s that should be on your list.
Construct a Trellis for Climbing Vegetables
Now’s about the time your climbing vegetables like peas, cucumbers, and pole beans need a little support. These veggies love to climb and will produce best when there is something to grow up onto. Any trellis option will work. From straight sticks to something that you create and build yourself (time to get creative). Just make sure that your trellis material is sturdy and tall enough to support the plants. If you are looking for something easy, we carry a lot of different varieties of trellis structures that are sure to help.
In Colorado moisture is always a struggle because the humidity is low, and it could go days before a rainstorm will come through. It is important to know that watering deep is more important than watering often. Do not confuse this with soaking the plant because they are different. Watering deeply helps get to where the roots are looking for water and nutrients. Using a soaker hose is a convenient way to maintain consistent moisture throughout your garden. The best time to water is in the morning because it allows the leaves to dry out, reducing the amount of moisture-loving diseases and allows the water to penetrate the soil because is not as hot.
The fight between gardeners and weeds is a fight that will last until the end of time. One day your garden is beautiful and flourishing and the then next it is covered in weeds! How?! Weeds are very resilient and fast growing. They steal essential nutrients, suck up water, take up garden space and could harbor diseases and pests. It best to deal with weeds before they germinate and certainly before they go to seed, otherwise you’ll fight that battle harder next year. So how can you control weeds? Well, quite simply roll up those sleeves and pull them out using a garden hoe and a pair of nitrile gardening gloves. After you’ve pulled those weeds add mulch or straw to the topsoil and that will help prevent future weeds from growing. Mulch does a double duty and helps control moisture!
If weeds aren’t bad enough, you also have to deal with pests and predators that are just looking to invade your vegetable garden. Insects such as aphids, slugs, beetles, cutworms and wildlife like rabbits, squirrels and deer love a good fresh salad too. Experienced and hardcore gardeners will just pick off these little pests, but for the rest of us, using insecticidal soaps, Neem and horticultural oil are all helpful in pest control. You could also fight bugs with bugs; ladybugs and praying mantis are good predators for most invasive insects. Companion planting is a long-practiced method to deter insects. Planting marigolds near your veggies are effective against aphids and other insects, as is planting geraniums which deter most insects. We’ve heard of many tips to deter wildlife, but the most reliable way is with a deep and high fence.
Sow Root Vegetable Seeds
Most of the planting should have happened already and hopefully everything is going completely well. June just happens to be the perfect time for sowing some vegetables from seeds. Root vegetables, like carrots, beets, and parsnips grow well in June and will give you a great late autumn harvest! You can also refresh some of those heartier lettuces like cabbage and kale, that you may have already harvested.