June is the start of warmer weather in our area of PA. It’s when we’re able to transition from full force garden prep and planting to a much more relaxed waiting game. By the end of June, things start to get hot, and the amount of growth that happens in our garden is phenomenal. It’s not long before we start the full force harvesting phase in July, so June is when I enjoy a slight reprieve. Here is what we’re planting in June in our Zone 5 garden.
Garden chores in June tend to be on the slow side. The last frost in our area tends to be around the 15th to 20th of May, so around Memorial Day Weekend, we do a massive seed and transplant planting. Once we get them all planted, it becomes a waiting game. We do go out and weed occasionally, but since we just prepped all the beds for our transplants in April and May, the weeds are few and far in-between.
The most important chore for our garden this month is to make sure that the pests don’t get to our freshly planted goods.
I need to be extra vigilant about slugs with our transplants. They’re the number one pest in my garden, and I’m very picky about what I’ll put out for them. Sometimes I will leave out orange peels to trap them, other times I leave cups of stale beer. But since I started using Bug-Geta*, I’ve noticed a huge reduction in the number of plants that are mutilated by slugs.
To help keep the squirrels and chipmunks out of my garden, I use Repel-All*. As with the slugs, I really am picky about what I’ll use because I like to keep as close to an organic garden as I can, and this contains ingredients like garlic, clove oil, and putrescent whole egg solids. As I’m sure you can imagine, it’s got an ABSOLUTELY lovely smell. NOT! But it was better than the “colorful puffballs of poison” the lady at our local garden center was trying to sell me. Since I have young kids, a dog and a cat, I’ll use the smelly stuff over the poison any day.
Aside from weeding, this slower time is a good time for me to redirect any raspberry shoots that aren’t where I want them to permanently root. They’re still really easy to redirect this time of year. While I’m redirecting new shoots, I’ll trim off any old growth that doesn’t have any leaves on it, so the plants can direct their energy as they grow this summer.
What I’m Starting Indoors:
June brings a break in our indoor planting! In our zone 5 garden, everything is in the ground by now, and we have a short reprieve before we start indoor planting for the fall. So I try to take the time to clean up our indoor planting area and get it prepped for any fall seedlings we would want to start.
What I’m Direct Sowing:
June is our first really warm month. May in our garden can bring a mix of springtime weather – including snow, but by June, our nook of PA has settled into that early summer weather.
After our mass planting around Memorial Day Weekend, I start planting things in two-week successions throughout June. For the past few years, we have used seeds from Seeds Now*, and I’m thoroughly impressed. Their germination rates are remarkable indoors and out.
Two-week succession planting just means that rather than planting all my bean seeds at once and then having a HUGE harvest all at once, I plant about 30 to 50 seeds now, and then in two weeks, I’ll plant another 30 to 50 seeds. This helps stagger our harvest, and making it much less stressful on us since the harvests are stretched out and not all at once and timed with everything else.
You don’t have to use this philosophy on beans, it works great for lettuces, beets, chard, and radishes. Basically, anything that has a short enough growing window, you can plant in two-week successions and get continual crops from throughout the summer.
What I’m Transplanting:
As with indoor sowing, there isn’t much to transplant this month since we did our mass planting on Memorial Day Weekend. This will be the case
What I’m Harvesting:
June brings a slow start to our harvesting season. I’m able to continue harvesting our asparagus, and our chives are in full production. Going with the herb theme, I can start to clip back some of our thyme and oregano, both of which are winter hardy where I am and could use a trim by now.
Peas are also on our harvesting list in June. If the weather was warm and dry enough (i.e., no frozen snow depths and no torrential downpours) that we were able to plant our peas in April, we are able to start harvesting them in June. I inevitably go overboard on planting peas in the hopes that I can get enough to freeze for use in the summer and fall, but the kids always beat me to it and eat them.
Any leafy greens that we were able to plant in April can be harvested by now. This is totally dependant on how our April and May went, and whether we could get any lettuce or spinach planted.
Strawberries are also in full production during June. Since I don’t have enough strawberry plants to go beyond a few handfuls that the kids inevitably will beat me to. So we go to a local you-pick farm and bring home pounds of strawberries. From there, we eat them, freeze them, or can then into strawberry jam.
Looking for tips on what to plant in other months?
What are you planting in June? What are some of your garden chores for the month? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!