There are always a ton of things to do in the garden when the growing season is in full swing. Hopefully most of the garden is set up and ready to go with only general maintenance needing the gardeners attention but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes projects pop up, problems arise, and then sometimes we haven’t gotten everything done as early as we would have liked to. To help me get organized this month (and maybe you too!) here is my June Garden to-do list for 2011. For organization purposes I’ve categorized the to-do list into Projects and General Maintenance.
June 2011 Garden To-Do List
General Garden Maintenance Chores:
|Sweet Dumpling Squash
- Water the garden when needed. I’m setting up an electric timer to help with my watering chores. Ideally the rains will come and water everything for me at just the perfect intervals – yeah right…can you say “not gonna happen!” Some sort of supplemental irrigation is almost always needed. I’m using a series of 1/4″ soaker hoses connected through drip irrigation lines to bring water to the base of the plants. I mulch over the soaker lines so that the water goes into the soil and does not evaporate. Never water from overhead if you can help it. If you have to water above the plants make sure you water early enough in the day that the leaves have time to dry out. No one wants a fungus! I bought a timer that I will set for early in the morning to maximize the garden’s water retention.
- Continue to cover the vegetable garden raised beds with straw mulch as it needs replenishing. I use dried grass clippings which are cheap and easily available. If your mower doesn’t have a bag attachment I highly recommend it for your next one.
- Pick squash – hopefully it will be coming in like crazy!
- Mulch the gardens – I waited to mulch some garden areas to make sure flooding did not wash the mulch away.Now that things are drying up I need to get mulch down to keep the moisture in the soil.
- Watch for insect damage. Squash bugs aka stink bugs are a major pest on cucurbits and can ruin tomatoes too. I’ve seen where catnip and lemon balm reportedly ward off squash bugs. I’m planning on making a tea to spray on the cucurbits (cucumbers, squash, melons etc.) using those two herbs.
- Monitor fruit trees for insect damage and pests. Voles are an issue. Voles and moles are not the same thing. Watch for 2″ round holes at the base of shrubs and plants. These are probably voles. Voles are much more mouse-like and harm plants directly by nibbling the roots and bark from the base of the plant. Moles tear up the soil in search of insects, grubs, and earthworms. People get excited and frustrated at moles but voles are by far the worst of the two very vexing vermin. Moles actually do a bit of good by aerating the compacted top layers of soil. Voles are opportunistic and will travel down mole holes so if you think the moles are damaging your plants you could very well have gang of voles who are framing the moles for the crime – conniving little devils aren’t they?
- Successively plant squash. The more the merrier! It’s always fun to give away extra goods from the garden. I can’t wait to taste some fried, grilled, and steamed squash! Do you have a favorite squash recipe?
- Prune, Sucker, and Tie Up Tomatoes. If you want more tomato plants take a pruned branch from your plant and drop it in a jar of water. It will root and you’ll have more tomatoes than you can eat before long. Tomato plant propagation – two of my favorite things in one!
- Propagate plants! Early morning ins the best time to take cuttings. For the plant and for the gardener! One quick plant propagation tip – bring a small jar of water around with you to take multiple cuttings at once so that the cuttings you take do not dry out before you can stick them. They like to be hydrated. After all making roots is hard work!
- Weed, weed, weed!
- Did I say weed?
|Lamb’s Ear and Coneflower
- Begin excavation for a patio sidewalk extension. I’m still waiting on paving stones to come in from a special order so I won’t be digging until I have them.
- Possibly work on the garden fence – all depends on time.
- Possibly work on an arbor using some reclaimed lumber – again it depends on time!
- Paint the windows and trim around my shed – I still haven’t done that…
- Clean out the scrap lumber in the shed and take an accounting for future projects.
I’m going to be busy, how about you?