Mid-Atlantic

June, 2005
Regional Report

Clean Up June Drops

Many fruit trees initially set far more fruit than they can carry to maturity. The trees then begin to self prune by dropping immature fruit. Often this first occurs in June. If you see fallen fruit, clean it up. This good sanitation practice helps prevent disease and insect problems.

Control Slugs

Nocturnal slugs can devour hostas, lamium, lettuce, spinach, and newly set annual and vegetable transplants overnight, leaving holes in the foliage or sometimes just bare ribs. Hand-pick them at night (drop them into soapy water) or use a slug bait formulated with iron phosphate (read and follow the label directions).

Start Composting

Summer is a great time to begin a compost pile because the warm temperatures naturally accelerate the composting process. To hold your compost, you can use a commercially manufactured bin, assemble an enclosure out of recycled wooden pallets, form a cylinder out of wire mesh fencing, or just pile your compost in a heap.

Keep Planting

As your spring annuals and vegetables wane with the heat, continue succession planting with warm-weather flowers and vegetables. You can plant sunflowers, squash, bush beans, and basil, for example, to enjoy later this season.

Pruning Hollies

Hollies have a nice, natural shape. They can be lightly pruned now by selectively removing longer branches to thin the bush and tidy the overall outline. Reach deep inside the bush to cut individual branches as needed. This helps light and air reach the interior of the plant and keeps it healthy. Shearing now will limit (or remove) this year's berry crop.

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