Welcome to our first ever Gardener’s Checklist! This series will feature monthly suggestions for keeping your garden in tip top shape.

June is an easygoing month for Southern California gardens. Spring labors should be paying off, so be sure to stop and smell the roses and pick your first squash! 

You can also view June as a catch-up month. There’s still time to plant many of those summer loving blooms, veggies and herbs! Take advantage of grey skies and cooler weather and get your garden ready for summer!


  • Care for perennials.

When blooms start to fade, brown, curl or otherwise look unattractive, that’s the time to trim and allow other flowers to shine. After bloom, cut off faded flowers. Cutting off spent flowers and keeping plants tidy ensures maximum bloom times.  Pinch the tips off shrubs like geraniums for bushier growth.

  • Plant summer flowers.

This is a month for warm-season annuals. The nights are consistently warmer, and the days are longer and sunnier. For the sunniest spots, set out heat-loving annuals such as vinca, celosia, marigolds, portulaca, and zinnias. For shady spots: begonias & impatiens. Great choices for summer perennials include lantana, penstemon, salvia, yarrow, lavender & gaillardia.

  • Plant summer vegetables.

As soon as possible, start planting these in the ground: tomatoes, beans, corn, eggplant, melons, peppers, pumpkins, squash and cucumbers.

  • Plant herbs.

Many of our favorite herbs thrive in the heat: basil, chives, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Plant a pot full of them and keep them near the grill or kitchen.

  • Finish up major planting.

It’s best to plant shrubs, trees, ground covers, lawns and other key landscape elements before the hottest weather kicks in.

  • Pay extra attention to watering.

Inspect your irrigation system for damaged sprinkler heads, which waste water. Deep soak shrubs and trees. Container plants may need water daily. Newly planted flowers and vegetables should never dry out. To conserve moisture and control weeds, consider adding a 2- to 3-inch mulch around the base of shrubs, trees, summer flowers and vegetables.

  • Feed, fertilize & prune.

Fertilize roses, fushias, citrus and avocado trees. Keep an eye out for yellow or pale leaves with green ribs – a sign of iron deficiency. Clean up fallen fruit and harvest veggies frequently to keep them producing. Prune trees such as oaks, junipers and cypresses at the END of spring rains when the weather is dry.