12 Jun JUNE GARDEN CHECKLIST
June 21 is the official first day of summer, but for many gardeners, it’s full-on heat already! By now, you’ve likely planted much of your warm season garden, but planting and garden chores continue this month in spite of the heat or humidity. Follow this checklist to stay current with your June garden chores, always remembering to consult your local garden experts on the best times to plant.
Remember last year when you had so many zucchini, tomatoes, and figs that you didn’t know what to do with them? Make a plan now for creative ways to use your surplus harvest so it doesn’t go to waste. Have a watering plan in place to ensure your garden gets adequate irrigation when rainfall levels are low and temps are high.
Going away for vacation? Make proper plans to have your garden checked on in your absence — have a trusted neighbor make sure your garden is watered, and let them know they can harvest anything they see for their dinner that night!
And lastly, don’t forget that garden journal. Make notes about the tomato varieties that are super tasty, as well as the annuals that are thriving or bugs that are munching. You only think you’ll remember, and we don’t want you kicking yourself later.
PREPARE & MAINTAIN
All zones: Provide support structures or cages for peas, cucumbers, beans, or tomatoes. Be on the lookout for garden pests like stinkbugs, grasshoppers, snails/slugs, and caterpillars — they can do enormous damage overnight. Make sure all planted beds (both edible and ornamental) are adequately mulched to suppress weeds and preserve soil moisture. Animals like birds and toads will appreciate a fresh water supply during the hot summer, too, and while you’re at it, keep your compost pile moist so it will “cook.”
Zones 4-6: Stay on top of weeds so they don’t choke out your veggies, flowers, and perennials. Water your garden 1” a week unless you get receive adequate rainfall (or unless your arid garden doesn’t require it). Continue succession-sowing and planting of warm-season veggies and flowers for continuous harvest and bloom. Deadhead spring-flowering perennials and prune spring-flowering shrubs and trees.
Zones 7-10: Use the heat of the sun to solarize new beds. As with the cooler climates, stay on top of your weeding to avoid a maintenance nightmare down the road. Got any cool-season plants hanging out in your garden? Remove and compost them before they invite unwanted bugs into your garden space. Have unplanted beds right now? Plant cover crops to improve the soil! Continue to water deeply rather (than a surface sprinkling) to encourage deep roots and drought tolerance. Prune your spring-flowering shrubs and trees.
SOW & PLANT INDOORS
Zones 7-10: Get ready for fall gardening by starting seeds of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
SOW & PLANT OUTDOORS
Zone 4: Harden off tomato, pepper, and eggplant transplants and get them out into the garden. Go ahead and directly sow seeds of squash, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, okra, cucumbers, beets, corn, leaf lettuce, and lima beans into the garden as well. Plant container roses, shrubs, trees, as well as warm-season annuals and heat-loving herbs.
Zones 5-6: Direct sow seeds of bush beans, pole beans, cucumbers, squash, and melons. You can also direct sow kale, salad greens (only heat-tolerant varieties), carrots, beets, and radishes. Get tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers in the ground, too, as well as warm season annuals.
Zones 7-8: Continue succession planting pole beans, bush beans, winter squash, okra, black-eyed peas, and Malabar spinach. Most herbs can still be planted, as well as warm season annuals. If you’re planting perennials, be sure to give them plenty of regular water to get established, and avoid planting during heat waves when your plants can get stressed.