Note: For 2015 I’m republishing our lists of monthly chores, ’cause you can never have too many reminders, right?
June – ah, the garden is in full swing with so many flowers blooming it’s hard to pick a favorite! Hmmmm, is cutting bouquets of flowers and creating arrangements for the house considered a chore? Yeah, probably not. Most of the vegetable garden is planted and bursting with fresh new growth that hints at the harvest to come, with flowers and even small green fruit on the tomato plants. Oh, but there is harvest happening in June, too – peas, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, chard, kale, and cauliflower to name a few. And though it seems strange to think about right now, if you’re interested in having a fall and overwintered garden, the end of June and early July are the time to start seeds and plant transplants.
Even though I always hope to get most of the weeds in our flower beds under control by June, I’m usually still laying paper and mulch in an effort to control weeds for the rest of the season. If it’s not wet, then the watering cycle starts in and it really starts feeling like summer!
Garden Chores By Month: June
Vegetable & Fruit Garden
- Can plant warm weather lovers like corn, peppers, zucchini and squash, as well as basil if needed.
- Planting rows of bush beans, summer lettuce, and corn at intervals will spread out the harvest.
- Harvest thinning of beets, carrots, lettuce and chard as needed.
- Keep tomatoes staked, pruning lower branches as needed to keep air flowing and discourage blights. Also stake as needed plants like peppers and brussels sprouts.
- Hill up potatoes for a total of 2-3 times before letting mature.
- For fall garden: sow seeds of plants like brussels sprouts, long-maturing cabbage, rutabagas and turnips (see Territorial Seed for a list of varieties to grow for fall and winter gardening – it’s really comprehensive!)
- Monitor fruit trees for insects and disease, treating as needed.
- Thin apples, pears and peaches when fruit is about the size of a nickel.
- Train grapevines, pruning as needed.
- Harvest strawberries and other berries as they ripen.
- Keep beds weed-free.
- Feed roses and dahlias with an organic fertilizer.
- Stake tall growing flowers as needed, before they get too big (and fall over, breaking the stem…ask me how I know this)
- If there are early blooming perennials that need dividing, you can do it this month, making sure to water well until established.
- Trim and remove dying foliage from spring bulbs, digging and moving any that you’d like.
- Remove seed pods from rhododendrons and azaleas, and prune – along with other spring-blooming shrubs like lilacs and forsythia.
- Watch for signs of mildew, rust, and black spot – treating with organic options if needed.
- Fertilize lawn for second time, keep mowing and watering as needed.
- Bait for slugs and snails.
- Trim hedges mid-month.
- Start a watering cycle: soaking beds with soakers or drip systems every 5 days and raised beds every 4-5 days in warm, dry weather.
Note: These garden to-so lists are not comprehensive by any means, but meant to provide a jumping-off point to organizing your garden chores. Feel free to print the lists and add any of your own specific chores to the sections.