June Garden Tasks

Birds and Wildlife

  • To attract butterflies, you can plant coral vine, blue plumbago, butterfly weed, lantana, purple coneflower and yarrow.  Yes, the critters will eat the plants, but the plants will come right back.


  • Vegetables to plant now will include black‑eyed peas, okra, sweet corn, cucumbers, peppers, New Zealand “spinach” and squash.
  • You can still plant eggplant and okra for mid-summer vegetables.  
  • Use Bt or Spinosad to control hornworms, fruit-eating pinworms, and other caterpillars.  
  • Pull non-producing plants—especially the tomatoes–before diseases and spider mites move in.  
  • Powdery mildew will probably take the vine plants this month.  Pull them out and wait for fall.


  • If you’re looking for color for the hot part of the summer, consider periwinkles, esperanza, firebush, zinnias, poinciana, portulaca, purslane, or lantana.
  • Plant vincas in full sun.  
  • Shade plants include coleus, caladiums, firespike and begonias.  
  • Moss rose and purslane are showy all month long in full sun.  
  • Keep up the fertilizer on the roses.

Shade Trees and Shrubs

  • Newly planted trees need deep watering by hand when the soil dries to one inch.  
  • Remember to mulch 2-3 inches deep around new trees so that they don’t have to compete with grass.  Leave 6” clearance around the trunks.  
  • Use a weekly spray program to protect your roses from insects and black spot.  Keep fruit trees well watered if they’re still producing.  
  • Prune hedges on an as‑needed basis, but avoid severe pruning.

Fruits and Nuts

  • Peaches, apples, plums and blackberries with developing fruit must receive regular moisture.  
  • Figs are especially sensitive to dry soil.  
  • Prune out old blackberry canes (the ones that bore fruit this year) to make way for the new canes.   

Turf Grass

  • June’s warm soils make this an ideal time to establish or renovate the home lawn. Bermuda grass for all sun/no shade, St. Augustine for all sun/partial shade and zoysia for all sun/partial shade. 
  • Irrigate the lawn grass only if it hasn’t rained in the last two weeks.
  • Raise the blade on the mower to 3.5 inches or more if you have St. Augustine.  Continue to mow the Bermuda at 1-1.5 inch.

Seasonal Gardening Checklist Prepared by Tom Harris, Ph.D., Honorary BCMG