June Garden Tips: Welcoming Summer

Kick off the warm season on a strong note with a good watering schedule and regularly picking your fresh flowers and herbs.
by Addie Ladner

By now, you may have some warm-weather vegetable plants about to bear fruit, fresh mulch in your beds and flowers beginning to bloom. To keep the momentum going, consider these tips from Lisa Barrie, farm manager at Raleigh City Farm.

Water Smarter 

Give your beds a good soak about once a week. “Watering deeper and less frequently establishes a strong root system and helps plants tolerate dry weather,” she says. Water first thing in the morning, when it’s cooler, and point your hose toward the roots: “I like to tell people to spray down, not up.”

Cut and Pinch

Keep herbs like mint, oregano and basil thriving by pinching the tops off about once a week to promote bushy growth. (Enjoy the trimmings in pasta sauces and salad dressings!) If you planted zinnias, dahlias, daisies or cosmos, cut them regularly to make new blooms. “You’re encouraging the plant to get wider and make new shoots for growth,” says Barrie. 

Suds Up

Keep an eye out for harlequin beetles on brassicas plants and aphids on tomatoes! Barrie says liquid hand or dish soap is your friend here. Remove the larger pests manually and drop them in a bucket of soapy water. For smaller insects like aphids, Barrie suggests spraying the plants with a solution of three parts water, one part soap.

This article originally appeared in the June 2024 issue of WALTER magazine.