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Monthly Horticulture Tips

June Gardening Tips

Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, Oklahoma State University

David Hillock, Consumer Horticulturist

Find someone to water plants in the house and garden while on vacation. Harvesting vegetables and mowing the lawn are a must and imply that someone is home.
  • Find someone to water plants in the house and garden while on vacation. Harvesting vegetables and mowing the lawn are a must and imply that someone is home.
  • Mulch ornamentals, vegetables, and annuals to reduce soil crusting, and to regulate temperatures and moisture during hot summer months. Mulching will reduce about 70 percent of the summer yard maintenance.
  • Remain alert for insect damage. Add spider mite to the list. Foliage of most plants becomes pale and speckled; juniper foliage turns a pale yellowish color. Shake a branch over white paper and watch for tiny specks that crawl. Watch for first generation fall webworm. (EPP‑7306)
Turf Grass
  • Fertilize warm-season grasses at 0.5 to 1 lb. N per 1,000 square feet. Do not fertilize fescue and other cool-season grasses during the summer.
  • Dollar spot disease of lawns can first become visible in mid-May. Make certain fertilizer applications have been adequate before applying a fungicide. (EPP-7658)
  • Seeding of warm-season grasses should be completed by the end of June (through July for improved varieties such as Monaco and Yukon) to reduce winterkill losses. (HLA-6419)
  • Brown patch disease of cool-season grasses can be a problem. (HLA-6420)
  • White grubs will soon be emerging as adult June Beetles. Watch for high populations that can indicate potential damage from later life cycle stages as grubs in the summer.
Trees and Shrubs
  • Vigorous, unwanted limbs should be removed or shortened on new trees. Watch for forks in the main trunk and remove the least desirable trunk as soon as it is noticed. (HLA-6415)
  • Pine needle disease treatments are needed again in mid-June.
  • Remove tree wraps during the summer to avoid potential disease and insect buildup.
  • Softwood cuttings from new growth of many shrubs will root if propagated in a moist shady spot.
  • Protect trees from lawnmowers and weed eaters by mulching or using protective aerated covers.


  • Pinch back leggy annuals to encourage new growth. Fertilize and water appropriately.
  • Feed established mums and other perennials.
  • When picking fresh roses or removing faded ones, cut back to a leaflet facing the outside of the bush to encourage open growth and air circulation.
  • Stake tall perennials before toppling winds arise.
  • Clean out the water garden and prepare for season. Divide and repot water garden plants.
  • Begin feeding fish when water temperatures are over 50°F.

Drip Irrigation System Great for Container Gardening

One of the great things about gardening is anyone can do it. Gardening doesn’t require a great expanse of land. In fact, those with very little space can still have a successful gardening experience. Container gardening is a great way to grow some flowers, or even vegetables. It’s fun, easy, and rewarding.

However, keeping the containers properly watered throughout the sweltering Oklahoma summer can be a bit of a challenge. During the hottest parts of the summer, they often dry out before you get home from work. When you go on vacation, you must find someone to water them for you.

A simple solution to this dilemma is using an inexpensive drip irrigation system and automatic control valve. These irrigation systems can be bought at many home improvement stores, garden centers and nurseries. Kits are available from some manufacturers that contain everything needed to install a drip system to your outdoor faucet, including tubing, stakes with adjustable emitters, backflow prevention device, t-connectors, and fasteners to secure the tubing. Purchase an automatic control valve that’s programmable, which allows you to set the water to come on and off as needed and run as long as needed. This type of system also helps conserve water since the water is directed into the containers and there’s little to no waste from overspray, which can happen with traditional sprinklers.

In addition to the drip irrigation kit, purchase a Y valve to hook up to the faucet. This allows you to attach the controller for the drip system, as well as a garden hose for other purposes.

For gardeners who have more space for planting in a traditional landscape, larger drip irrigation systems are available too.

These systems are very easy to install. In fact, the only tool needed is scissors or a sharp knife to cut the tubing to the proper lengths. Now you can set the system to come on and off while you are away on vacation, and you won’t have to worry about whether your containers get watered. It’s easy, inexpensive, and efficient. In the long run gardeners will save time and money. And as a bonus, your plants will be happy, too.

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