Tidewater Times June 2019

Page 87


by K. Marc Teffeau, Ph.D.

Gardening in June After enjoying the first burst of full-color spring and busy gardening efforts, we gardeners tend to take a little bit of a break. But don’t relax too much! There’s a lot to be done going into June, depending on the extent of our gardening activities and landscape. Don’t put your pruning shears away. Some trees and shrubs have made rampant growth this spring. They may need a little “tidying up.” There may be a lot of water sprouts on the trunks of f lowering cherries, plums and crabapples that should be removed. Crepe myrtles tend to send out side branches from the base of the plant that should be cut so that the larger multiple trunks can be maintained. You can still prune spring-f lowering shrubs like azaleas, rhododendrons, forsythia, spirea and lilacs after they f lower in June. Head back and thin over vigorous shrubs to the desired size. Is that forsythia in your yard totally out of control? Prune back

the entire plant to two feet above ground and cut out the large old stems to rejuvenate the plant. Cuts on trees and shrubs made at this time will heal quickly. Remember, however, not to cover the pruning cuts on trees with pruning paint. This is no longer a recommended practice. If you did shrub or tree plantings this spring, make sure to water correctly. Transplants are particularly susceptible to droughts. This is especially important for the container-grown plants that you have established in the landscape. Because container-grown plants have been grown in a peat/ bark media, their root balls dry out quicker in the landscape than the 85