Oh, baby, June is here. This is the month that you have long-anticipated as the dirty-handed gardening angel you know yourself to be. This is the month that everyone gets to go outside and dig in the dirt. Isn’t there something…clean about fresh dirt? If that sounds silly, you aren’t a devoted gardener. If you just nodded your head, then this is the article for you. It’s June gardening by hardiness zone, friends! Let’s dig in. (No pun intended…kinda.)
Zone Three: Chinook, Montana (for example). It’s harvest time in Chinook! Time to enjoy the asparagus that has been winking at you for a couple of weeks. This is also the month to harden off your indoor seedlings (melons, tomatoes, peppers, and cukes) and get them in the ground outside. Fast growers like spinach and lettuce can be part of a second planting this month.
Zone Four: Alamosa, Colorado (for example). The gardeners in the San Luis Valley are excited about June. This is the first month that provides warm sun on their neck while they dig in the garden. What are they digging during June gardening? Before the 10th of the month, they need to get their summer flowers in the ground. If they are growing cilantro for their salads it goes in the ground around the 25th of this month. The garden could use a good mulching mid-month.
Zone Five: Hamilton, Montana (for example). Those who call the Bitterroot Range home and garden therein have a busy month ahead. Keep a weather eye on the roses, because it is about time to mulch those bad boys. Harvest your asparagus and lightly steam it for dinner tonight. Lightly, being the key word there. (Who knew you would get cooking tips here?) June gardening is also time to plant cole crops for the fall dinner table. These include cabbage, cauliflower, and the like.
Zone Six: Nash, Oklahoma (for example). The 204 people who live in this part of Grant County love to be able to look around at the flat plain that surrounds them. They also love June gardening. This month they’re replacing their finished lettuce crop with a late crop of another vegetable that can handle the heat that is bearing down on north-central Oklahoma. It’s time to put the annual crop of sweet potatoes in the ground, as well as the second planting of corn and beans.
Zone Seven: Spring Hill, Tennessee (for example). They used to build Saturn cars in this Nashville suburb, but those went away. Luckily, gardening is an annual tradition that isn’t subject to the vagaries of commerce. June gardening in Spring Hill is rich and varied, just like the soil. Here’s an idea. Did you know you can grow your own luffa? You plant luffa gourds in June and harvest in October. Don’t try this unless you are a person of even temper, because these babies are temperamental. But, give it a try if you like. Zone seven is prime luffa (or, Loofah, if you prefer) growing climate. What else is June gardening in Spring Hill? Replace your finished lettuce crop with a second planting of another suitable vegetable.
Zone Eight: Lakewood, Washington (for example). June is a transition weather month for the south Puget Sound, so there is much to do in the garden. Plant mums, vincas, geraniums, and marigolds about mid-month. This is also the time to plant ground cover for its aesthetic qualities, as well as its protective qualities. Compost the garden area you will use later and plant melons, sweet potatoes, squash, and okra early in the month.
Zone Nine: Jacksonville, Florida (for example). Pest control is part of the game in north Florida. Catch them in the morning, because they (and you) will be seeking shade by the afternoon. If you put eggshells around the bottoms of your plants, pests will be less of an issue. But, you chose to live in Florida for the climate. So too do they. This is your final chance this year to plant sweet potatoes and peanuts. Every other week, for the next six weeks, plant corn in blocks. That will give you a continuous harvest into the fall. Keep track of the rain (Gildshire recommends a rain gauge.) Your plants need an inch of water a week, whether from the sky or your little green water bucket.
Zone Ten: Los Fresnos, Texas (for example). This portion of the Brownsville–Harlingen metro area is cooking in June. Yes, cooking peppers, and barbecue, but also baking in the June heat. So, what should they do when it comes to June gardening? Hopefully, they have already harvested the tropical fruit that grows so well down there. Be sure and prune the fruit trees after harvest. You wouldn’t think additional heat would be needed, but the soil in this area actually needs to be heat-treated to kill pests. Cover the harvested soil with plastic and leave it for a couple of weeks. Nothing will survive that. Fertilize your hibiscus plants and any other perennials before they bloom.
That’s June, gardeners. Check back with us again next month.