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Gardening has become one of the most popular activities during the pandemic as people spent more time at home, embraced “grow your own” and enjoyed the win-win-win: fresh air and activity, fresh veggies, berries, fruits and beautiful landscape.

As a Master Gardener, friends and family make regular inquiries (texts with “what’s this plant/flower? Bug? What’s wrong with my plant?” etc. etc.) It’s one of the many joys of being a Master Gardener, helping folks have a positive experience. From year to year, a common question, “Is this a ‘normal’ year?” We all know that normal left the scene some time ago … especially this year, my answer is “no, this is not a normal growing year.” I was watering in APRIL! What?!? And, our garden was “in” by early May. During a “normal” year, we’d be lucky to have the ground dry out enough to plant by Memorial Day. That’s right – planting by Memorial Day, early June is the usual …

The best tips I can provide this year would focus on WATERING, and make plans to make your landscape and gardens “water-friendly.” Consider xeriscaping (low/no water) and native plants are also the best option, but even native plants are going to need supplemental water this year. If you have “new” (planted within the last three to five years) landscape trees, bushes and plants, be sure to regularly water them. New residents (and even long time residents) don’t realize that it can take several years for plants and trees to become established, so during the dry season – yes, we have a dry season on the Oregon Coast, supplemental water is a must.

This is an excellent resource with timely advice on garden chores, fertilizing, pest control, and more from OSU Extension. When in doubt, contact the Tillamook OSU Extension Office for information from local Master Gardeners, https://extension.oregonstate.edu/tillamook

OSU Extension - June Garden Calendar

Oregon State University Extension Service encourages sustainable gardening practices.

Practice preventive pest management rather than reactive pest control. Identify and monitor problems before acting, and opt for the least toxic approach. Conserve biological control agents such as predators and the parasitoids that feed on insect pests.

Maintenance and cleanup

• Prune lilacs, forsythia, rhododendrons and azaleas after bloom.

• Fertilize vegetable garden one month after plants emerge by applying a side dressing alongside rows.

• Harvest thinnings from new plantings of lettuce, onion and chard.

• Pick ripe strawberries regularly to avoid fruit-rotting diseases.

• Use organic mulches to conserve soil moisture in ornamental beds. An inch or two of sawdust, bark dust or composted leaves will minimize loss of water through evaporation.

• After normal fruit drop of apples, pears and peaches in June, consider thinning the remainder to produce a crop of larger fruit.

• Make sure raised beds receive enough water for plants to avoid drought stress.

• Mid-June: If green lawns are being maintained through the summer, apply 1 pound nitrogen per 1,000 square feet to lawns.

• If you want a green lawn, water frequently during periods of heat and drought stress. Irrigate 0.25 inches four to six times per week from June through August. Measure your water use by placing an empty tuna can where your irrigation water lands.

Planting and propagation

• Plant dahlias and gladioli.

Pest monitoring and management

Use chemical controls only when necessary and only after thoroughly reading the pesticide label. First consider cultural, then physical and biological controls. Choose the least-toxic options, and use them judiciously. Some examples include insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, botanical insecticides, and organic and synthetic pesticides.

• First week: Spray cherry trees for cherry fruit fly, as necessary, if fruit is ripening.

• First week: Spray for codling moth in apple and pear trees, as necessary. Continue use of pheromone traps for insect pest detection.

• Learn to identify beneficial insects and plant some insectary plants, — such as alyssum, Phacelia, coriander, candytuft, sunflower, yarrow and dill — to attract them to your garden. Check with local nurseries for best selections. For more information, see Encouraging Beneficial Insects in Your Garden.

• Blossoms on squash and cucumbers begin to drop; this is nothing to worry about. Cherries may also drop fruit; this is not a major concern.

• Monitor azaleas, primroses and other broadleaf ornamentals for adult root weevils. Look for fresh evidence of feeding (notching at leaf edges). Try sticky trap products on plant trunks to trap adult weevils. Protect against damaging the bark by applying the sticky material on a 4-inch wide band of poly sheeting or burlap wrapped around the trunk. Mark plants now and manage root weevils with beneficial nematodes when soil temperatures are above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. If root weevils are a consistent problem, consider removing plants and choosing resistant varieties.

• Control garden weeds by pulling, hoeing or mulching.

• Control aphids on vegetables as needed by hosing off with water or by using insecticidal soap or a registered insecticide.

• Watch for 12-spotted beetles on beans, cucumbers and squash and cabbage worms or flea beetles in cole crops (cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts). Remove the pests by hand or treat with registered pesticides.

• Birch trees dripping a sticky fluid from their leaves means that aphids are present. Control as needed.

• Use yellow sticky traps to monitor for cherry fruit fly. About 1 week after the first fly is caught, spray cherries at appropriate intervals.

• Last week: Second spray for codling moth in apple and pear trees, as necessary.

• Continue monitoring blueberry, strawberry, cherry and other plants that produce soft fruits and berries for spotted wing drosophila. If these pests are present, use an integrated and least toxic approach to manage the pests. To learn how to monitor and manage spotted wing drosophila.

Trade-name products and services are mentioned as illustrations only. This does not mean that the Oregon State University Extension Service endorses these products and services or intends to discriminate against products and services not mentioned.

For more local health and wellness information, visit www.tillamookcountywellness.org or follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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