June in southern California usually means overcast mornings that transform into mild sunny afternoons making it an ideal month to spend time in the garden before summer heat takes hold.
Thin Out Fruit Trees: By June, trees should be bursting with small fruit such as apricots, plums and peaches. The weaker fruit will start to drop this month. Don’t be alarmed. In fact, after the initial shedding, remove the smallest of the remaining. This will allow the hardiest of fruit to reach their full potential.
Deadhead Flowering Plants And Bushes: Your rose and other flowering plants should be in full bloom by now. Remove older flowers to make way for new ones. Trim wayward branches and stems to encourage better density within the center of the plant.
Control Aphids: Everything springs to life in June-including bad bugs such as the tiny aphid. These bugs latch onto plants and suck the sap from new growth. When the infestation is significant, they can curl leaves and stunt plant growth. Tips: Remove stems with the largest aphid concentration and then shoot a strong stream of water at the aphids to knock off the remaining.
Plant Avocado Trees: Plant your avocado trees in well-draining, loose soil, level or a little above level to the ground. Place 5 inches of wood chips around the tree. Don’t over water even with a young tree. Let the soil around the tree become somewhat dry before watering. Never let it pool around the trunk. Flowers will bloom next spring, but don’t expect fruit until two to three years after planting.
Be Water Smart: With dry, hot weather on the horizon, replace water-loving trees and shrubs with those that require little water once established. A water-efficient landscape can include such drought-tolerant trees and shrubs as bougainvillea, California sycamore, California wax myrtle, acacia, manzanita, Catalina cherry or western redbud (with its magenta flowers).
Lawn Care: Spring and fall are ideal times for patching or replacing lawns. Grass types that are best suited for southern California include Fescue (absorbs water well), Bermuda (drought resistant) and St. Augustine (durable). Proper soil preparation with the correct compost mix (based on soil type) is crucial to lawn success. Once established, add a layer of top dressing especially designed for lawns.
Work Fast. Still Time to Plant Vegetables: For a summer harvest, plant tomatoes, squash, cantaloupe, celery, corn, cucumbers, lima beans, okra, peppers, spinach and squash in early June.