June in the Garden
Please come visit us at The Natural Gardener for the most comprehensive advice, plants, and organic gardening supplies appropriate to our area and the current season.
Spray seaweed after sundown
Once temperatures reach 90°F, you should avoid spraying anything on plant leaves, even water, during the daytime. Wait until sundown, or very early in the morning to treat your plants with this anti-stressor.
Watering is the single most important activity in the garden, and one of the hardest to get right. In general, it’s best to water established plants deeply and less often, rather than shallowly and frequently. New transplants, seeds, and seedlings may need daily watering, but in the case of larger plants, shallow watering leads to shallow, weak roots. Get to know your yard’s specific conditions, and water only as needed. See our comprehensive guide.
Monitor for chinch bugs
The damage usually shows up in full sun areas during hot, dry weather as yellowing, then browning, irregular patches. Chinch bugs are only about 1/6” long, mostly black, (young ones can be reddish-tan) with a white marking across their back. They do not fly or jump up when you walk across. Be sure to get a positive ID before treatment, and see our guide on Pest & Disease to learn to control them.
Watch out for grasshoppers
Grasshoppers tend to be their most active this time of year. They’re controlled organically by spreading bait inoculated with the grasshopper disease, Nosema locustae. It doesn’t harm any other critters except for Mormon crickets, and when properly applied, the grasshoppers eat the bait and get sick. Future grasshoppers cannibalize current sick ones, spreading the disease through the population. Because of the grasshoppers’ sheer numbers and mobility, this method is most effective when used over larger areas, such as if you own a lot of acreage, or if you can get your neighborhood to coordinate their anti-grasshopper effort. Other control methods include spraying plants with kaolin clay, or using physical barriers like row cover. See our guide on Pest & Disease Control.
Mosquitoes are a nuisance to be sure, but they can also spread disease to both us and our pets. Often a multi-layered approach is necessary for optimal control. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as 1/5 teaspoon of water, so be sure to patrol your yard on a regular basis and remove standing water. Treat bird baths and ponds with a natural mosquito larvicide, which won’t harm other insects or wildlife, and will prevent the mosquitoes from reaching adulthood. There are a number of granular and liquid repellants which can be applied to your yard to drive the mosquitoes away from hang-out spaces, and pheromone-based traps can be placed around the edges to further lure them away. See our guide on Pest & Disease Control.