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Top 5 Gardening Must-Do’s for June 2024


Here’s to summer garden fun! We’re making the transition to warmer weather with some intermittent rainfall and lots of good energy in the garden. Here are our top priorities this month, including what to plant, how to adjust watering, what to watch out for, and how to keep plant roots insulated and happy.

Check out our June Garden Guide for more tips and remember that trees, shrubs, and perennials can be planted 12 months out of the year! The only difference is the amount of water they need depending on temperatures and wind!

1. Plant Summer-Tough Stuff!

So many of our favorite plants for South Texas don’t just tolerate warm weather, they only begin to thrive and look their best in the summer. Think of blooming perennials like Firebush, Esperanza, and Pride of Barbados for awesome summer impact. Think of big purslane hanging baskets, Gomphrena, and Periwinkles for bursts of bright color. And browse our Texas native plant section for plants and trees that have thrived through hundreds and even thousands of Texas summers. If you’re still wanting to plant food, you can do that too – okra, basil, thyme, watermelon, peppers, black-eyed peas and more can be planted in June.

2. Water Low & Slow

We’re not talking about BBQ, although that sounds good too… We’re talking about watering low, as in as in low to the ground to avoid evaporation, and slow as in not with your hose open full-blast to decrease runoff and get more water down to the roots. Consider setting up your own automatic drip irrigation system – they’re easy to DIY and they operate on the low & slow principle. For spray irrigation sprinkler systems, be sure to follow current watering rules.

Pro tip:  Use a moisture meter in your landscape beds and pots! We carry them for around $10 and can show you how easy they are to use. They’ve saved many plants!

3. Watch for Summer Bugs and Disease

Yes, bad bugs will be around more during the Summer, but don’t treat unless there’s significant damage. We can help identify the pest and if/how to treat. You don’t want to kill too many good bugs while trying to take care of the bad bugs! If you see brown areas in the lawn that are easily pulled up, it’s usually a sign of grubs eating the roots of your grass. You can control grubs with Bonide Insect and Grub Control. Chinch bugs love hot dry areas in lawns. They make the lawn look dried out along sidewalks and pavement. Spot-treat those areas with Cyonara in easy ready-to-spray bottles. For organic control, use Spinosad or Diatomaceous Earth. Remember that healthy lawns are less susceptible to damage from bugs, heat stress, and common lawn disease like Take All Root Rot. Water lawns deeply and fertilize every 3 months. If you fertilized in April, wait to feed again in July.

4. Hang Out with Your Houseplants

We just restocked the greenhouse with all kinds of unique and classic houseplants looking for their forever homes! Time to work on your collection! We can help you determine the best houseplants for different areas and different lighting in your home. Once again – invest in a moisture meter for your houseplants, too. In our experience, the main cause of houseplant death is too much love aka too much water. Keep in mind that houseplants can also be sensitive to tap water. We use as much A/C condensate, rainwater, and water from our dehumidifier as we can to water houseplants and keep them looking their best here at Gill’s.

5. Keep Roots Cool with Mulch

A good mulch layer (2-3″ deep) has so many benefits. It looks amazing, keeps weeds down, helps retain moisture, adds organic matter to the soil, AND keeps plant roots nice and cool in the summer. Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories shared amazing results with us from a mulch study they conducted in San Antonio. Soil temperatures were measured at 6″ deep (where plant roots live) on a 105 F summer day. Bare soil, 6″ down was 102 F. Soil under grass was 92 F. Soil beneath a 3″ layer of mulch was only 76 F!! Mulch for the win!

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