June is one of my favorite months of the year. The kids are out of school, many of us have been working hard to get our landscapes and gardens planted and the start of summer is just around the corner. But while June is a wonderful month, the best is yet to come because in just a couple of weeks it will change.
As can happen in spring, our landscapes are flush with growth and color, our vegetable gardens are moving along nicely and everything seems to be growing strong.It almost seems like a magic trick. Plant the plants, wait a couple of weeks then poof, our plants are growing.
Spending time planting our crops – whether for food or interest – and then waiting to see how everything grows, to some, is like waiting for Santa Claus to come. Will our new plants grow as well as we expect? Will we have a bumper crop of vegetables to savor or weeds to deal with? Will Mother Nature send us enough rain? Will everything grow into the dream landscape we have envisioned in our minds? Simple – just wait a few weeks and we’ll know.
Now that the plants are growing, some of us could be fighting insects, weeds or diseases, and we’ll be waiting to see the effects of our care. As some plants have bloomed and are finishing, we’re waiting for the next plant to come into bloom. Now that the vegetables are growing well, we’re waiting to harvest our first crop. Every time we think it’s been a few weeks and we’re done with one issue or enjoyment, a whole new crop of concerns and delayed gratification can happen.
Overall this whole “wait a few weeks” idea can be both my favorite part and most hated part of working in the nursery industry. There’s always something happening in our landscapes and gardens. Something needs a bit of care, something is showing its beauty, some weed needs to be pulled or sprayed, some vegetable crop is ready for picking and on and on. I can guarantee you, working with a landscape or a garden is never boring if you don’t want it to be. June is one of the best months to experience it firsthand.
June should be about making sure everything planted is ready to go into the heat of summer. Make sure your mulch is 2-3 inches thick to keep weeds down and to hold in the moisture. Every year, but especially after last year’s drought, make sure you are ready to water your plants and lawn when Mother Nature doesn’t send us rain.
June should be about making sure your chemical controls to deal with bagworm, fungus, red spider, grubs, webworms, aphids or any of the other insects or diseases we may experience early summer are applied or ready to apply. It’s also time to plant if you haven’t had the chance or need to fill some holes in the landscape. Annuals to perennials, shrubs to trees, all can be planted through the summer with some care.
June could be about fertilizing your plants, both in the vegetable garden or your landscape, to keep them growing happy and producing well. Be sure you are using the right fertilizer, for the right plant and for your specific situation for the best results.
Finally, June should be about spending some time en- joying everything a bit before it gets too hot. Whether it is sitting on the porch with friends, visiting our many local farmers markets or just spending a lazy afternoon enjoying the fruits of your labors, please enjoy the beginning of summer and try to enjoy everything you can in June because as we all know, in a few weeks things will change.
Andy Campbell is manager of Campbell’s Nurseries Landscape Department. A Lancaster County Farm Bureau Member, Campbell’s, a family-owned Nebraska business since 1912, offers assistance for all your landscaping and gardening needs at either of its two Lincoln garden centers or through its landscape design office. Visit campbellsnursery.com or facebook.com/campbellsnursery.