The summer solstice, the longest days of the year and the official beginning of the summer season, has arrived! After the especially rainy winter we’ve had, who isn’t ready for that bright, warm summer sun? Except wait… it’s still cloudy and cold?! Is San Diego basically Seattle south now? Where is the sun and what can we do in our gardens when all we want to do is cuddle up under a blanket?
If you’ve grown up here in Southern California you’re surely familiar with the term “June gloom.” And if you’re a transplant and asking yourself why you’re still wearing so many layers, the answer is relatively simple. What happens is the inland areas start heating up while the Pacific Ocean is still cold, creating a gloomy, dense marine layer and cloud cover.
June is the Perfect Time to Transplant
And speaking of transplants, the gloom of June is the perfect time to transplant! When plants are first put in the ground they experience what is called “transplant shock.” They need some time to adjust to their new homes and hot, sunny conditions make that more difficult. Thus, moderate to cool, overcast weather (hello June gloom) is great for transplanting, giving your new additions ample conditions to take root and recover from the shock.
In addition, rotating crops, like tomatoes, helps prevent the mildew that often sets in and can destroy the plants. Make sure to move the plants to where they will get full sun eventually. Stake them and use cages to keep the leaves separated and fully ventilated. Mulch also helps curb weeds and excess moisture. We also recommend using a natural fungicide like the Natural Guard Neem Concentrate Fungus Control Plant Protection.
The June gloom is also a great time for everyone’s favorite activity, weeding (cue the groans) ?
The June gloom is also a great time for everyone’s favorite activity, weeding (cue the groans). After all the rain we’ve had, our gardens and yards are overrun with weeds. But because the weather has been so mild, the ground is still quite soft and absorbent making it the right time to get down and dirty with those pesky creepers.
Take some time to soak the ground before you start pulling to loosen things up even more (unless it’s just rained then skip this step). Then start yanking those suckers out by the roots, by hand or with a Dutch hand hoe. Make sure you do this before the weeds go to seed or next year you’re in for exponentially more trouble. For super tough weeds in the grass, try the Hi-yield Nutsedge and Horsetail Control.
June’s Gloomy Conditions are Perfect for Tending a Rose Garden
And lastly, the June gloom is a perfect time for tending to your rose garden. If you’ve never planted roses before, the moist ground and cool conditions are perfect for getting one started. And if your garden is already in play, now is the time to get your roses ready for the real summer heat.
Since roses require A LOT of water, they are also vulnerable to weeds and mildews. As mentioned above, mulch helps curb both and it helps retain the water for when things heat up. It’s also wise to make sure your roses are not too close to a wall or solid fence as they need a lot of ventilation to prevent the dreaded mildew.
For thriving summer roses, remove spent blooms from the spring and cut the stem down to a healthy set of five-leaflet leaves. Add in some E.B. Stone Organics Rose and Flower Food for extra nutrition, and get ready for summer garden parties with stunning colors and rose scented breezes.
The sun may be trailing behind the official beginning of summer but that doesn’t mean you have to get behind in your gardening. Take advantage of this unique weather event and the rest of June won’t be all doom and gloom. It’s your chance to put in that extra time (without sweating your face off) to ensure your garden is in tip top shape for a summer of abundance and beauty!