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June in southern California usually means overcast mornings which transform into mild sunny afternoons making it an ideal month to spend time in the backyard before summer heat takes hold.

Thin Out Fruit Trees: From June, trees should be exploding with small fruit such as apricots, plums and peaches. The weaker fruit will begin to drop this month. Do not be alarmed. In fact, following the initial shedding, eliminate the smallest of the remaining. This will permit the hardiest of fruit to reach their full potential.

Deadhead Flowering Plants And Bushes: Your rose and other flowering plants should be in full bloom by now. Remove older flowers to make way for new ones. Trim wayward branches and stalks to encourage better density within the center of the plant.

Control Aphids: Everything springs to life in June-including bad bugs such as the tiny aphid. These bugs latch onto plants and suck the sap from fresh growth. When the infestation is important, they can curl leaves and stunt plant growth. Tips: Remove stems with the greatest aphid concentration and then shoot a strong stream of water at the aphids to knock off the remaining.

Plant Avocado Trees: Plant your avocado trees in well-draining, loose soil, amount or a little over level to the ground. Don’t over water even with a young tree. Allow the soil around the tree become somewhat dry before watering. Never let it pool round the trunk. Flowers will bloom next spring, but do not expect fruit until two to three years following planting.

Be Water Smart: With dry, hot weather on the horizon, replace water-loving trees and shrubs with those who require little water once established. A water-efficient landscape can include such drought-tolerant trees and shrubs as bougainvillea, California sycamore, California wax myrtle, acacia, manzanita, Catalina cherry or western redbud (with its magenta flowers).

Lawn Care: Spring and autumn are ideal times for patching or replacing lawns. Grass types which are best suited to southern California include Fescue (absorbs water well), Bermuda (drought resistant) and St. Augustine (durable). Proper soil preparation with the correct compost mix (based on soil type) is crucial to lawn success. Once established, add a layer of top dressing especially intended for lawns.

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