Here are your June tips from a master gardener

Prune, plant, cut, stake and do a little dance to celebrate summer in your garden this year

John Hethrington has been gardening since he was 9 years old. He spent his youth gardening in Toronto and obtained his master gardener certification before moving to Meaford where he cultivates 2.5 acres with 20 different gardens. He publishes gardening tips for local newsletters monthly and his column will also appear on


Summer and the list of garden chores is not easy. However, Master Gardener John Hethrington has made sure you are working efficiently with the following June gardening tips:

  • Summer is definitely here and it’s the driest May in years! Plant your annuals now. Add a little all-purpose fertilizer and water well.
  • Fertilize perennials, roses, shrubs and vegetables using a balanced fertilizer, not your lawn. Remove the mulch (which should already be there). Lightly bury the fertilizer around each plant and replace the mulch.
  • Start mowing your lawn higher up and leave the cuttings on the lawn as “green” manure.
  • Prune spring flowering shrubs and trees (lilac, forsythia) after they have bloomed.
  • Prune evergreens and hedges now, not later in the summer.
  • Finish removing all the stems of daffodil and tulip flowers. Let the leaves ripen and feed the bulb for the next year. Add a little bone meal around the bulb clumps to encourage bulb growth for the next year.
  • Plants of tomatoes, dahlias, gladioli, peonies, etc.
  • Thin out the vegetable plants and plant the successive crops. (Plant a second crop while the first is ripening, e.g. lettuce, spinach, radishes.)
  • Sow flowering cauliflower / kale in garden rows for later transplanting.
  • Plant seeds of fast growing flowers such as cosmos, marigold, calendula, etc.
  • If desired, move houseplants outside to protected areas.
  • Withered dead (cut) flowers on plants such as petunia, rose, verbena, etc. This will promote continuous flowering and bushy plants for the second half of summer.
  • Weed and water the garden beds as needed.
  • Add mulch to suppress weed growth and retain moisture. At least two inches.
  • Reduce late blooms like mums and asters by a third. This will make them more bushy and give them a mound shape for fall.
  • Turn the compost regularly and check the humidity level, neither too wet nor too dry.
  • Take cuttings from perennials, shrubs, roses, etc. for rooting.
  • Watch for local plant sales such as the Giant Plant Sale at St. George’s Anglican Church in Clarksburg on Saturday June 12, 2021. Approved by the Gray-Bruce Health Unit, begins at a new time at 8:00 am. Entry by car only. Choose from a wide variety of perennials to choose from for sun or shade, named daylilies, raspberry canes and shrubs at really reasonable prices. The experts at 599 Garden Club will advise you. Also 255 tomato plants in four varieties. Your resident master gardener will be on sale to answer your horticultural questions.


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