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What to do in your garden in June. (Checklist: Northern California).

SHOPPING

* GIFTS FOR DAD. One of these gifts is sure to please any gardening dad on Father's Day: A dwarf citrus tree such as 'Clementine' tangerine, 'Oroblanco' grapefruit/pummelo hybrid, or, for cooler climates, 'Improved Meyer' lemon; Wonder Gloves waterproof gloves, available at some nurseries or from Garden Works (425/455-0568); or a stainless steel and ash-handled spade, edging knife, or other Heirloom Tool from Smith & Hawken (www.smithandhawken.com or 800/776-3336).

PLANTING

* CILANTRO. To make sure you have plenty of cilantro for cooking all summer, sow successive crops of seeds every six to eight weeks. A variety that's slow to go to seed is 'Slow-bolt' from Renee's Garden, sold on nursery seed racks and online (www.reneesgarden.com).

* HERBS. For flavoring salads, sandwiches, soups, and grilled meats, plant basil, chives, oregano, rosemary, tarragon, and thyme. For seeds of harder-to-find plants like French sorrel, visit an herb specialty nursery, such as Sycamore Farms in Paso Robles (800/576-5288).

* LOW-MAINTENANCE SHRUBS.

Sunset climate zones 7-9, 14-17: For attractive color and form with minimal water, try blue hibiscus, cape mallow, ceanothus, coast rosemary (Westringia fruticosa), euphorbia, Jerusalem sage, lavender, New Zealand flax hybrids (two new hybrids are 'Apricot Queen' and 'Rainbow Warrior'), plumbago, rockrose, rosemary, Russian sage, and tree mallow.

* SUMMER PERENNIALS. To prolong color in your garden, look for plants that will bloom through summer and beyond. Good choices include daylilies, gaillardia, Gaura lindheimeri, gloriosa daisy, lion's tail, (Leonotis leonurus), penstemon, phygelius, salvia, and yarrow.

* VEGETABLES. June is prime planting time for warm-season vegetables. Sow seeds of beans (bush and pole types) and com (try one of the super-sweet or sugar-enhanced varieties, which stay sweeter longer after harvest). Set out transplants of cucumbers, eggplant, melons, okra, peppers, pumpkins, squash, and tomatoes.

MAINTENANCE

* CHECK SPRINKLERS. Inspect your sprinkler system for broken, malfunctioning, or misaligned heads. Turn the system on and inspect each head, then replace broken ones. If a head nozzle bubbles or squirts irregularly, it may be clogged; check slits for dirt or small pebbles. If you can't unclog it, replace it. To readjust a misaligned head, turn it until it sprays in the right direction.

* SHEAR SPRING-BLOOMING PERENNIALS. To keep basket-of-gold, candytuft, common aubrieta, moss pink, rockcress, and other low-growing, spring-blooming perennials full and compact, remove spent blooms and 1 or 2 inches of growth. Use sharp grass shears, hedge shears, or Classic English Trimming Shears from Kinsman Company (www.kinsmangarden.com or 800/733-4146).

* TRANSPLANT WATER PLANTS. If your water plants need transplanting, make sure to use a mineral-based soil, not one with a base of peat moss or compost. The latter types can cloud the water and clog filters and pumps. One type to look for is Schultz Aquatic Plant Soil (available in 10- and 25-pound bags). If you can't find it at your local nursery or home improvement center, you can order it from Star Nursery Online Store (www.yardsupply.com).
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Publication:Sunset
Geographic Code:1U9CA
Date:Jun 1, 2003
Words:485
Previous Article:Made for shade. (Garden).
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