University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
PLANTS AND OTHER JUNE GARDENING TIPS
Charlie Nardozzi, Senior
Leonard Perry, Extension Professor
University of Vermont
Staking plants, watering deeply, and
harvesting strawberries often are some of the gardening tips for this month.
Blossom end rot shows up as dark,
sunken spots on the blossom end of tomatoes, peppers, and squash. It's caused
by a calcium imbalance in the plant -- the soil may have adequate calcium, but
the plant isn't able to take up enough to supply the rapidly developing fruit.
To minimize the problem, keep soil evenly moist, apply a layer of mulch to
conserve moisture, don't overfertilize (especially avoid high-nitrogen
fertilizer), and avoid damaging plant roots while cultivating.
If you have a strawberry bed,
harvest frequently and remove any berries that show signs of grey mold or rot
diseases. These berries not only are inedible, they quickly spread the diseases
to other ripening fruits. Pick and remove the rotten berries and mulch under
plants with straw to reduce contact with the ground where the disease spores
Ground covers such as vinca,
pachysandra, carpet bugle, and dead nettle (lamium) can be divided and
transplanted now to create new beds or enlarge existing ones. On a cloudy, cool
day, use a sharp shovel or trowel to separate offshoots from mother plants and
transplant them into a shady
new location. Keep them well watered.
Apple trees are notorious for
setting more fruit than they can support. Usually the tree relieves this burden
by dropping some young fruit in what's called the "June drop," but
you may have to thin in addition to this natural drop. Try to leave six inches
between fruits so they can develop to their full size and sweetness.
To encourage good rooting of new
plants in the ground, make sure you water long enough to moisten the soil
around the root zone of the plant. Sprinkling a little water on plants every
day can do more harm than good by encouraging the roots to stay close to the
surface where they are susceptible to drying out faster. Stick your finger into
the soil and if it's dry two inches deep, it's time to water. Apply enough
water to moisten the soil a bit deeper than the root zone.
Set your tomato supports in
place before plants get too large. Smaller determinate varieties can be
supported with small cages, but larger indeterminate varieties need large cages
or tall stakes. Secure cages with stakes so they don't topple.
Support plants that tend to flop
over now, while they're still small. Use wire rings and supports, or make your
own by placing sturdy branches in the ground in a ring around the plant. Then
loop twine from stake to stake to encircle the plant. Or you can wrap the twine
around each stake and the one across from it, to make a criss-cross pattern for
the plant stems to grow through. If you set the cages in place now, the foliage
will soon hide them.
Return to Perry's Perennial