It's June, and the garden is in full swing. There's plenty to keep you busy, as it's time to monitor, maintain and, finally, start reaping what you've sown. These chores will help ensure you keep on top of things every day of the month.
1. For better-blooming, stockier plants, trim the top third off chrysanthemums, Joe Pye weed and Heliopsis.
2. Monitor plant containers for water daily; their soil dries out more quickly than the garden's.
3. Clean birdbaths at least once a week.
4. To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your yard, don't allow standing water to puddle.
5. Remove wilted yellow leaves from bearded iris plants to help prevent iris borer infestations.
6. Remove the bottoms from paper cups and collar around tomato, pepper and eggplant stems to prevent cutworm damage.
7. Fasten rambling and climbing roses to their supports as they grow.
8. Plant dahlias. Set stakes an inch away from bud-bearing roots now to avoid damaging them as plants grow.
9. Fight mildew by spraying plants with one tablespoon each of baking soda and ultrafine horticultural oil diluted in a gallon of water.
10. Join the 2011 Tomato Challenge. Send an email about your tomato plants to email@example.com. Include your hometown and photo.
11. Fill gaps left by early spring bloomers with summer annuals.
12. Plant short perennials under clematis to keep their roots shaded and cool.
13. Stay on top of weeds.
14. Deadhead spring-blooming shrubs like rhododendrons and lilacs.
15. Fertilize houseplants at half strength with every other watering.
16. Protect strawberries from birds with netting or floating row covers.
17. If you seeded or sodded your lawn this spring, continue watering twice daily until the grass is 4 inches tall.
18. Cut back chrysanthemums, Joe Pye weed and Heliopsis by another third. (See June 1.)
19. Happy Father's Day to all the great dads on Long Island! No mowing the lawn today.
20. To increase tomato production, remove suckers that grow in the crotch between the main branch and stems.
21. It's the first day of summer. Enjoy it!
22. Inspect trees and shrubs for scale. If chemical treatment is indicated, avoid using hose-end sprayers; they don't dissolve, mix or apply evenly.
23. Fertilize peonies after flowers fade to keep plants strong for next year.
24. Go on a search-and-destroy mission against Japanese beetles. Pick them off and drop them in soapy water.
25. Use only low-nitrogen fertilizer on vegetables or annuals.
26. Deadhead annuals as their flowers fade to encourage more blooming.
27. Harvest herbs in the morning, just after the dew has dried, for the best flavor.
28. When the first tomatoes appear, give plants a nutritional boost by showering leaves with fish emulsion.
29. Deadhead hybrid tea and grandiflora roses.
30. It's time to harvest cool-season crops like lettuce, spinach and peas.