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Texas Gardener: What to Do in June

The spring garden rush is supporting us, but there’s still so much to do from the summer garden. During this time of year our Austin-Dallas-Houston triangle (zones 8a, 8b and 9a) is typically very hot and muggy, with very little rain. This is sometimes bothersome for Texas gardeners, but do not give up — take some time to prepare your garden beds and properly care for them, and you may have gardens which thrive, regardless of what the thermometer says.


Plant annuals and perennials. Our hot and muggy June days aren’t the very plant-friendly surroundings, but it’s still possible to add annual and perennial color to your garden. Choose plants which are rather bulletproof and designed to take the heat in stride, such as native and adapted plants. Try salvia (Salvia greggii), Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) and purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) such as perennials, also heatproof annuals such as vinca, portulaca, begonias and impatiens. And remember to plant in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid immediately stressing new plants together with the midday sunlight. Stay at the top of watering, and you’re good to go.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Give your garden a drink. Most areas of Texas were hit by a historical drought and record-breaking heat this past year, so let us learn a few lessons to keep our gardens hydrated. Be sure your irrigation system is functioning correctly, and check to see that it’s set to go off early in the morning rather than in the middle of the day, when water tends to vanish. Always follow your place’s recommended water or any constraints which are in place, and choose plants that need a little less water so as to have the healthiest garden. Agaves and yuccas will be happy with very little water, but also try drought-tolerant plants such as lantana, salvia, penstemon and coneflower.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Insert some potted plants. Anybody, anywhere, can add container plants to a garden. This is a good alternative for people with balconies, patios and courtyards, but containers will also be ideal for nestling into garden beds for a colorful accent.

Choose pots that are large enough to make an impact — vivid colors do not hurt, either — and include plants which complement the container in addition to the surrounding garden area. Choose colorful and textural succulents such as sedums, euphorbias, aeoniums and kalanchoes for easy-care color, or a mixture of annuals such as petunias, sweet potato blossom (Ipomoea batatas) and creeping jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) for seasonal impact.

Doug Burch

Insert ambience. You’ll be spending a great deal of time outdoors this summer with family and friends, so be sure to make an environment that’s warm and inviting. A garden fire pit is a fantastic addition to almost any landscape — but keep in mind to observe any burn bans in your area, as portions of Texas are still in a drought. Insert patio lights or candles for immediate ambience, and think about installing outside speakers to pipe on your favorite party or beach songs.

Watch how to Construct a stacked stone fire pit

Shirley Bovshow

Manage weeds. Throughout the summertime, weeds can easily get out of control and destroy your beautiful landscape beds. Stay on top of them before they get to be an issue — pull them out (be certain to get the roots) and keep a good two – to 3-inch layer of compost on your beds constantly. Well-mulched beds will maintain soil moisture and suppress weeds — exactly what we want in our sweltering summers.

Prune trees and shrubs. Lightly prune summer-flowering trees and shrubs, such as oleander and crape myrtle, such as shape. This is not the time to perform a”hard” pruning to get rid of a great deal of expansion — your intention is to eliminate anything that is dead or diseased, plus growth that is in an unusual angle or towering over the rest of the plant. Never”top” trees and shrubs by providing them a crew cut — this ruins the plant’s shape and ability to develop correctly.

Beertje Vonk Artist

Eat your veggies. But first, plant them. Consult your local nursery or extension office for the very best times to plant vegetables in your town. There’s still time to plant warm-season veggies such as squash in addition to harvest favorites such as pumpkins. Plant them in the sunniest place in your garden — at least 6 hours of sun is required for optimal results — and think about raised beds to possess deep, healthy soil for your edible garden.

Read how to Construct your own raised bed

J. Peterson Garden Design

Keep your lawn healthy. If you reside in a place of Texas that is still undergoing drought and low rain, you might choose to think about decreasing the size of your lawn. Remember to water less often, but more profoundly, to promote healthy grass roots — they will come in handy during times of drought. Always follow local recommendations for water programs or limitations, and keep your lawn mowed to a height that is suggested for your grass type. Keep a look out for insects such as grubs and chinch bugs. If you suspect that you have a problem because you’re seeing brown areas on your lawn, contact your local extension office for ideas on how best to identify and treat the problem.

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