Timely Tips

By Kim Kleman
Master Gardener Volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester County

June 7

Perennials: Try to finish planting new perennials soon, so roots can begin to become established before they face the hottest days of summer.

Flowers: You may still sow seeds of fast-growing annuals such as cosmos, marigolds, nasturtiums, phlox and zinnias directly in the garden. Calla lilies, caladium, canna, dahlia and other tender ornamentals may be planted now.

Fruits and Vegetables: Plant pumpkins now so they’re ready for Halloween. Fruit trees may naturally shed some immature fruit during the “June drop.” Thinning remaining fruit can enhance quality, size and color, and prevent the tree from bearing every other year due to the stress of supporting too many fruit in a given season. To do this, remove injured and insect infested fruit first, then take off all but the largest fruit per cluster. Spacing for apples should be 4 to 6 inches, peaches 4 to 8 inches, and plums 4 inches apart.

Trees and Shrubs: Prune spring-flowering trees and shrubs right after their flowers fade, before next year’s flower buds are set.

Lawns: If you have a high maintenance lawn that a soil test indicates would benefit from a late spring fertilization, do it now. Otherwise, the best time to fertilize the lawn is early fall.

Houseplants: If you haven’t previously put your houseplants outdoors for their summer vacation, you can do it now. Houseplants typically like bright light, though make sure they’re acclimated to outdoor conditions and shaded from strong afternoon sun or they’ll get scorched!

General: Get inspired and learn something new by making a date with a few fellow gardeners to visit a botanical garden, public park or garden tour in your area.


Amy Albam
Horticulture Educator/Master Gardener Program Coordinator

Last updated June 8, 2021