June

Ebenopsis ebano, Texas Ebony
What's Growin On In June


Most vegetables wither away in the Phoenix blistering heat, but we have a couple of troopers we go to, which are discussed below. If you hadn't painted the citrus trees white with 1 part water and 1 part flat latex yet, do so this month. This ensures the citrus will be protected from heat and sunburn. Pick early-maturing deciduous fruit to prevent bird damage, and let the bounty ripen at room temperature.

The average high temperature for June is 104 F and average low is 78 F. The average rainfall drops to about a sixteenth of an inch total for the month with an average of one rainy day occurring during this month.

The average humidity in our area for June is 19%, with a morning average of 24% and afternoon low of 11%.

In May and June, soursop flowers heavily, but flowers year-round. Soursop fruit can be harvested when the spines set further apart and the skin coloring dulls and/or changes to a yellow-green color. Selective pruning can be done to maintain an open shape to promote healthy growth.

During the months of May, June, July and August mamey sapote may bloom.

June 20 to 22 is when the first day of summer occurs each year.

Divide and Conquer
Crocus sativus bulbs


Start collecting spring bulbs for storage after their leaves die naturally. Grape hyacinth needs at least 6 - 8 weeks in the refrigerator before replanting in October, make a note of it!


Iron deficiency coffee arabica
Feeding:


In April, May, June, July, August and September, apply iron to black sapote and mamey sapote if looking yellow.

May, June, July, August, September apply micronutrients to atemoya and mamey sapote.

In April, May, June, July, August and September, apply soluble fertilizer OR compost rich top dressing to cacao tree and mamey sapote every six weeks.  Apply a soluble fertilizer to cinnamon tree, mango and coffee arabica every six weeks.

Help reduce the potential of fire blight on apple and pear trees by using a low nitrogen fertilizer.

When feeding, always water first, then apply fertilizers to moist soils, and then continue with the rest of the water. Apply chelated iron to plants with iron deficiency symptoms. Fertilize hibiscus and palms with palm tree food and keep watered. Cut back on fertilizing established roses to encourage plants to slow down for the hot summer.

Harvesting:
canary melon


In May, June or July rambutans may be ripe.  Rambutans are ripe when the rounded part is a bright yellow, orange or red color (depending on variety)and the spikes are still green. When the spikes become black, they are overripe.

Mangos may bear fruit in May, June, July August and September.

May, June, July and August may be the time to harvest blueberries, depending on the variety. May, June, July, August and September may be the time to harvest Sapodilla.

In June, your fig breba crop may be ready.  Some varieties to not produce breba crops.  Check trees daily for ripe figs. Figs are ripe when they are soft to the touch, some may drip honey from the eye and the fig droops on the tree.

June, July and August check to see if the female kiwi vines have set fruit. Once that is accomplished, cut back the male vine to remove flowered wood, prune to shape and remove excessive vigorous growth to ensure open structure.

June, July and August, harvest Black Sapote.  Black sapote fruit is mature when the skin becomes dull colored and the calyx flex away from the body of the fruit. Once harvested, it can take 3 to 14 days to become soft enough to eat.

June, July and August mamey sapote may be ripe.  Check fruits for ripeness by scratching the scurf (thin potato-like skin) to see if the fruit changed from green to an orange or red color of the fruit.

As your melons come in, place a board beneath them. This will keep them off the moist soil and prevent insects from attacking them.

Other harvest list:  We can harvest globe artichoke, basil, blackeye beans, green snap beans, lima beans, pinto beans, soy beans, yardlong beans, sweet corn, armenian and standard cucumbers, eggplant, fennel (herb), garlic, lavender, leeks, melons, okra, bulb onions, peppers, potatoes, winter and summer squash, tomatillo, tomatoes and watermelons. Harvest angelica blossoms, apple blossoms, artichoke blossoms, bachelors buttons, banana blossoms, basil blossoms, bee balm, burnet blossoms, calendula, chamomile, chervil, chicory, chive blossoms, chrysanthemum, cilantro or coriander, common mallow, elderberry blossoms, english daisies, fennel, fuchsia, garden sorrel blossoms, garlic blossoms, geraniums, gladiolas, hibiscus, hollyhock, honeysuckle, lavender blossoms, lemon verbena, lilac, linden, marigold, marjoram blossoms, mint blossoms, pea blossoms, peonies, phlox, pineapple guava blossoms, primrose blossoms, queen anne's lace, radish flowers, rose petals, rose petals, safflower, sage blossoms, savory blossoms, scarlet runner bean blossoms, squash blossoms, sunflower, sweet woodruff, thyme blossoms, and zea mays corn shoots.

Mulched kiwi
Mulching:


If you haven't already, apply a shredded bark or other mulch around your potted potager if you haven't done so already. Another mulching option is to plant compatible companion ground covers around the bottom of the big potted plants for a live mulch that can droop over the edges of the planter to keep the roots cooler and prevent evaporation.





Planting:
Pomegranite bud


Set out pomegranates (Punica granatum) in hot locations. Heat tolerant plants can be planted right through the summer months. They will need to be watered on a regular basis until fall. Plant hibiscus, Thai basil and cilantro now.

Pruning:


June, July and August prune suckers off of fruting trees to encourage a strong main trunk, if desired.

The rule of pruning is to never remove more than 1/4 of the total plant. Always use sharp, sterile, quality pruning tools and disinfect them between cuts to prevent the spread of disease. Rodale has an excellent article on garden tool maintenance. It seems hibiscus is an exception to the 1/4 rule, as we can prune back about one-third of the new growth. Summer prune kiwi and grape vines during June and July. Kiwi and grapes rapidly grow during these months and pruning is vital to maintain order. Remove tangles, restrict the vine to it's alloted space and prevent undue competition between the plant shoots. Select and trim back to the shoots you plan to keep for the next season. Do not prune citrus during the summer.

During spring and summer months, combat fire blight through pruning, if necessary.

Sowing:


We can sow basil, blackeye beans, yardlong beans, armenian cucumbers, eggplant, jicama, melons, okra, peppers, pumpkins, summer and winter squash, sunflower, tomatillo, and watermelon We can also sow marigolds and sunflowers.

Sunning:


We certainly don't need to warm anything up for the summer months! However, we can use a solar dehydrator to sun dry some of our recent harvests. If you want the DIY, check outoffthegridnews.com.

Shading:


It is time to shade peppers and tomatoes to reduce possible sunburn. We can use sunscreens around 50% reduction from now through September. Leave corn, squash, melons, blackeyed peas, okra and grapes out in the sun.

Water:


In Phoenix, June is the driest month of the year, so extra water attention is needed. Plants can benefit from an early morning mist (before 10 am) to increase humidity and bump off the horrible spider mites. Look for signs of dehydration, such as wilted leaves in the morning. If you see wilted leaves in the afternoon, it's a sign of heat stress, and you may need to provide some shade. Be careful with watering, as we can still over-water. Water slowly (drip systems are best) and keep the soil moist. If your looking for easy watering solutions, there are several DIY plans available online. Global buckets started with one design and now hosts several designs for self watering containers.