Northern & Central Midwest

June, 2012
Regional Report

Complete Pruning by July 1

Finish pruning with the goal of stopping by July 1. Pruning shrubs and trees after this may cause new growth, especially on evergreens, to stay soft and succulent and not harden enough to withstand winter cold. Also, spring blooming shrubs and trees will soon start to put on their flower buds for next year.

Renew Mulch

Time to refresh or renew mulch. Apply two to three inches of fine mulch such as cocoa bean hulls or finely shredded bark to perennial beds. Apply four to six inches of shredded straw mulch to vegetable gardens. Apply two to three inches bark mulch to tree and shrub beds.

Protect Plants from Rabbits

Protect your plants from rabbits by removing potential places where they might take cover such as brush piles, weed patches, stone piles, and other debris. Commercial repellants are available, or you can rely on your own mixture of rotten eggs, hot peppers, and garlic. Fencing is the only sure way to prevent damage.

Deadhead Perennials

Dead head perennial flowers as soon as they finish blooming to either bring them into bloom again, or to simply refresh the foliage for the rest of the summer. Good candidates for this include coreopsis, feverfew, perennial geranium, salvia and phlox.

Watch Water Needs

Keep an eye on watering. With the dryness of summer, things can get easily overlooked, so stick your fingers into the soil regularly. Candidates to watch closely include any houseplants summering outdoors, and pots, baskets or window boxes of annuals, especially those in clay pots, which dry out quickly.

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