The June to-do list for gardeners
Remove rose suckers, but not basal canes. They look similar, and both shoot straight up with vigorous growth. Suckers grow from below the bud union (the bump just below where the rose starts to branch) and should be removed. Basal canes originate just at the bud union and are the best wood on the plant so should be left alone. However, it's a good idea to pinch them back when they are about 18 inches long.
Treat for fire blight. Spread by insects, rain and pruning, this disease shows up in the spring, causing blackened branches and twigs on fruit trees such as apple, pear, loquat and quince, as well as toyons, hawthorns and crab apples. Prune infected branches 8 to 12 inches below the visible damage.
Control earwigs, which feed on soft plants and can cause significant damage. They feed at night and hide in moist, tight spaces during the day. Trap them by setting out moistened, tightly rolled newspaper at night and then discarding it in the morning.
Check irrigation and, if you didn't already, put down that very important layer of mulch. See May's Master Gardener column at www.mercurynews.com/home-garden.
What to plant now
Transplants: arugula, basil, beans, beets, corn, cucumber, eggplant, melons, mint, peppers, summer squash, winter squash, tomatoes.
Seeds: arugula, beets, corn, cucumber, melons, summer squash, winter squash.
Have a question for Rebecca Jepsen or the other Santa Clara County Master Gardeners? Call the hotline, 408-282-3105, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. weekdays or check www.mastergardeners.org.