Perennials: Begin collecting rose petals for potpourri. Biennial and perennial seeds should be started now for next year’s garden. Old fashioned hollyhocks are best grown as biennials. Plant seedlings out in late summer for bloom the following year. Cut back rambler rose canes after flowering. Trim lupines all the way to the ground after they have flowered. Cut delphiniums half-way back after flowering, cutting them to the ground later after their second flowering.
Flowers: Continue planting dahlias, cannas and gladioli up to July 1. Put stakes in when planting to mark them and avoid harming the spreading roots later.
Vegetables and fruits: Apple trees setting too many fruit (doubles or triples) should be thinned to carry single fruits. Space apple and peach fruits at 4- to 8-inch intervals. Pick up fallen fruit and leaves and dispose of it away from the orchard. Prune suckers on tomato plants. Set out cages for support or tie the plants to stakes with soft twine. Leave asparagus foliage to nourish roots and next year’s crop.
Trees and shrubs: Native viburnum are susceptible to pests, including the viburnum leaf beetle. Check leaves frequently. Rhododendrons and yews need protection from black vine weevil, a night feeding pest that is detected by the appearance of scalloped leaf edges on rhododendron foliage. Consult the Cornell Cooperative Extension for the most effective control methods. Have overgrown shade trees thinned for more light.
Lawns: Give your lawn a finished look by edging it. Put grass clippings on the compost or leave them on the lawn after mowing.
Houseplants: Hang a trailing houseplant such as ivy in a basket from a lower branch of a tree or shrub.
General: If local strawberries (local is New Jersey in our area) are reasonably priced, purchase 4 quarts and make strawberry jam. Trim and cut up berries and using sugar and berries cup for cup, cook until boiling and thick, stirring constantly. Fill clean sterilized jars with hot jam. Store in a cool dark cupboard or in the refrigerator.
Susan Henry, master gardener with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester