June is an “in-between” month in Texas gardens. The spring garden is about done producing, and the summer garden has been planted and growing. But it is not a time to slack off and become less vigilant. Rather, there are six things you should continue to do in the June garden and through the summer .
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1. Keep weeding and mulching your plots. Weeds compete for water and nutrients. Mulching shades the soil, keeping it moist and cool, as well as suppressing weeds.
2. Keep watering and maintaining the growing vegetables. In the heat and dryness of the June garden, the plants can become stressed. Too much heat, too little water, or both can be the cause of stress. Water at least 1″ deep per week. Cover heat-sensitive plants with shade covers. Check the fertilizer requirements of your crops. Some will need extra fertilizing about now for the best fruit and vegetable production.
4. Watch for destructive bugs and diseases. Look for aphids and worms on melons and cucumbers, corn earworms in the corn, or tomato hornworms on the tomatoes. Look for wilting or browning leaves, a sign of fungal or disease problems.
5. Harvest your crops as they ripen. Harvesting vegetables will encourage more vegetables to grow. My garden has already produced potatoes, peas, beans, zucchini, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes. Eggplant and winter squash are growing.
6. Begin to think about the fall garden. Just as in the spring garden, you needed to watch the last frost date, in the fall garden you need to be aware of the first frost date, and how many days to maturity your fall crops will need. Also, you will need to take into consideration the soil temperature for seed germination.
Do these six things, and your June garden will continue to produce for you into the fall and winter!
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