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Summer Gardening Chores: June

Rosa, Photo by Michelle Longo
Photo by Michelle Longo

Chores and Maintenance:

  • Continue to cultivate planting beds to remove weeds
  • Continue to dig and divide early-blooming perennials after flowering
  • Water, water, water as necessary
  • Continue to mulch planting beds
  • Set supports for floppy plants, vines and vegetables
  • Deadhead rhododendrons, lilacs and perennials after flowering
  • Add to, aerate and moisten compost pile to speed decomposition
  • Continue to check for pests and other problems and treat as necessary
  • Mow lawns regularly to keep grass at 2 to 2 1/2 " height
  • Leave grass clippings on lawn to improve availability of nitrogen
  • Water lawns if there is less than 1" of rain per week
  • Harvest cool weather lettuce, radishes and scallions
  • Begin to spray roses every week with baking soda solution to protect against black spot disease (Cornell University's formula consists of: 3 tsp. baking soda, 2 1/2 tbsp. summer-weight horticultural oil, mixed with 1 gallon of water)
  • Continue application of deer repellents


  • Complete moving self-sown annuals and perennials to desired locations
  • Sow seeds of fast growing annuals like marigolds, zinnias and cosmos directly in the garden
  • Sow seeds of heat-tolerant vegetables
  • Continue to plant and transplant perennials, weather and soil conditions permitting
  • Finish planting summer annuals
  • Complete planting summer flowering bulbs, such as canna, gladiolus and dahlias
  • Plant caladium and tuberous begonias in shady spots
deadhead lilacs after flowering
Deadhead lilacs after flowering

Pruning/ Fertilizing:

  • Continue to prune all plant material to remove any diseased, dead, weak or crossed branches
  • Complete pruning early spring-flowering shrubs
  • Prune evergreens and evergreen hedges into early summer
  • Continue deadheading roses
  • Fertilize roses after peak bloom
  • Complete fertilizing spring-flowering bulbs
  • Fertilize annuals and container plants
  • Fertilize vegetables
Sow seeds of fast-growing annuals like these marigolds (Tagetes)
Sow seeds of fast-growing annuals like these marigolds (Tagetes)

*These gardening tips are applicable for an average year in the southeastern New York region: USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 7a and 7b, which include New York City, Northern New Jersey, most of Rockland and Westchester Counties, Southern Connecticut, and parts of Long Island. Plant hardiness zones refer to geographic areas where the growing season of plants is determined by the time of killing frosts in the spring and fall. Even within zones, climatic factors such as altitude, proximity to water, wind exposure, winter sun exposure and snow cover contribute to the existence of different "microclimates" and can influence plant adaptability.

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Noteworthy Books on Garden Maintenance and Seasonal Chores