Today is the first day of Summer—depending on who you ask. Meteorologists consider June 1st as the first day of summer. Astronomers consider June 20th (or 21st/22nd depending on the year) as the first day of summer based on the position of the earth to the sun.
It’s the longest day of the year. Every day, after today, will be a minute or two shorter until the Winter Solstice. For this one day, all locations inside the Arctic circle will experience 24 hours of sunlight. In Antarctica, all locations will experience 24 hours of darkness.
You might think that the earth is closest to the sun this time of year, but it’s actually farther away. It is the tilt of the Northern Hemisphere towards the sun that gives us summer.
The Algonquin Indians called the full moon in June the “Strawberry Moon” because it signaled when the fruits were ripe. In Europe, where strawberries are not native, it was called the “Full Rose Moon” or “Honey Moon.”
As a gardener, summer means that I’m just beginning to appreciate the bounty of my summer garden. My annual flowers are in full bloom; I’ve seen the first hummingbird around my Mandevilla. I’ve gotten a handful of green beans and one baby squash and a few cherry tomatoes, but that first slicing tomato seems like it’s taking forever.
I’m keeping an eye out for squash bug eggs about now and I’ve already rinsed a few aphids off my Knock-Out rose. I’ve got Japanese beetle traps ready to put up in the back corner of the yard to lure them away from the rose and crape myrtle in the front yard.
By the way, be sure to have traps on hand because Japanese beetles show up soon. The traps work by means of a “lure” that attracts beetles, so be sure to place them on the OTHER side of the yard from what they’re going after. If a few do show up on some of your plants, spray with Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew. It’s a good organic treatment. Be sure to spray about 8:30 at night to give the bees and butterflies a chance to go home first.
Remember if you’re having a problem in your yard, we’re always here to help.