Despite the occasional damp day it’s clear that summer will soon be with us – and with the coming of the warmer weather comes the opportunity to get into some serious gardening. June is a great month for the green-thumb enthusiast and here are a few ideas that gardening experts say are ideal tasks for the late spring / early summer.

To ensure your garden is productive this year one of the most fundamental tasks is to diligently remove the unwanted and potentially damaging weeds that always crop up. It’s always easier to spend a few minutes each day removing small weeds than letting them overgrow your beds. – forcing a major and exhausting remedial effort to get the garden back into fighting trim.

Mulch is an excellent way to help reduce weeds, conserve water and to provide a neat top-dress for the garden. Local gardening centers are well stocked with a variety of mulch options at this time of year, so spend a little time checking out what’s available to help get the most out your gardening efforts.

If you’re a flower lover and you already have an assortment of spring perennials in your yard, once they finish blooming it’s important to cut them back, dividing the overgrown plants if necessary to improve next year’s flowering. It’s a case of doing some work now in anticipation of a bright and cheery yard next year. Of course whatever you plant, flower, shrub, vegetable or tree – remember to water them thoroughly (unless of course we get more rain). Adequate watering is especially important for recently planted items to help jump start their growth.

June is a time of preparation, with the harvest the goal to be enjoyed in the late summer and fall. If you are going to be growing anything with a vine such as peas, now is the time to set the supports necessary for these ‘floppy plants’ to develop. Crawling vines and certain vegetables require a framework to grow on, so now’s the time to put that infrastructure into place.

This is also the month when it’s important to finish planting all of your summer annual flowers to provide for season-long color and charm. Your yard can be both productive and attractive, so why not add a little color to the garden – for esthetic reasons if for nothing else? This is also the time to plant all of your summer bulbs such as cannas, gladiolas and dahlias. If you are going to plant caladium or tuberous begonias to brighten the yard always remember these plants do not like direct sunlight and should always be planted in the shady parts of your garden

If you have some trees or shrubs clear the deadheads from roses, rhododendrons, azaleas and lilacs, once they’ve completed flowering. Roses in full bloom will require extra fertilizer to keep them healthy for the long term. As with other areas of the garden, remember to prune any of your plants that are encumbered with dead, diseased, crossing or weakened branches. In addition prune your early spring-flowering shrubs to control their size, and look after your collection of evergreens or evergreen hedges to help control their size.

The list could go on, and would be as varied as the gardens and the gardeners who tend them. June is a great time to enjoy your yard, so get out into the lovely late spring air (before it gets too hot) and get things growing!