June ‘To Do’ List

  • Groom indeterminate tomatoes by pinching “suckers” regularly so that the plant will put its energy into making fruit instead of leaves. Keep tomatoes well watered (avoid wetting the leaves!) and fed. If they’re in the ground feed with compost tea, fish emulsion or kelp every two weeks while they’re in active growth. Tomatoes in containers require weekly feeding in order to have good results.
  • If mesclun and lettuce beds get stressed in afternoon heat, try shade cloth or even a big umbrella during the hottest part of the day.
  • If lettuce tastes bitter, water more frequently. Lettuce needs to grow quickly to taste sweet, and does so by never being allowed to dry out and occasional feeding.
  • At the end of June sow “starts” for some overwintering veggies like purple sprouting broccoli and big winter cabbage. Sow a few seeds per 4-inch (10-cm) pot in good loose starter mix. Protect from marauding slugs, grow on in dappled light, plugging into spots vacated by squash, tomatoes, beans, etc. in early fall.
  • Basil may be seeded outdoors now. Don’t allow plants to flower and go to seed—keep the tops pinched off.
  • Continue planting bedding plants. Feed regularly with organic fertilizer and water well.  Plant seeds between patio stones to out-compete weeds.  Try California poppy, Roman chamomile, creeping thyme and, in shadier spots, lobelia.