As the official start of summer, June is a lovely time to be out enjoying the yard – but what can we plant in June?
June is a good month to plant flowers such as marigolds and coneflowers, plus vegetables such as peppers and carrots. You can also plant herbs like mint and basil, and grow baby strawberry plants in pots. However, June is not a great time to plant trees, shrubs, and bulbs.
Let’s dig down (pun intended) into the subject of June planting in greater depth, and discover what you can plant and why – and also consider some garden jobs you can do in the yard at the start of summer…
Is June a Good Time For Planting?
June is a lovely time to hang out in your yard with your family and friends – but is it a good time for planting? It’s now quite late in the season to be planting many crops; however, there are still plenty of flowers and vegetables that thrive if planted in June.
There are two main reasons why June is regarded as rather late to be starting on new crops, and they seem rather contradictory. Firstly, it can actually be too warm for some varieties to flourish, and secondly, some crops will still be in the ground in the fall, and so may actually be exposed to too-cold conditions…
The answer to these potential problems is to know your climate, especially when the first frosts occur. If you know when those pesky frosts begin, you can always count backwards to work out whether you can plant a specific crop in time (or not). Then, if you have an idea of the typical temperature for that month, including the soil as well as the external temperature, you can avoid planting crops that tend to go to seed in too-warm conditions.
The easiest way to find all this out is to know your plant hardiness zone. This divides regions of the US into different climate zones, ranging 1 to 10 (cold to hot). From this, you can find out plenty of information about what you can and what you shouldn’t plant in your region at any time of year. Find your zone by typing your zip code into the US plant hardiness zone map.
We’ll talk pretty generally about June planting in this article, so make sure you check your individual hardiness zone for further information. On the whole, June is a great time to plant flowers for fall color or veg for late-season harvests.
What Flowers Can You Plant in June?
In June, we still have an abundance of blooms in our gardens. By planning a second sowing of flower seeds in June, we can ensure that this color and interest carries on into late summer and even the fall.
These are a few of our favorite flowers that flourish in the warmer soil and provide color for your late-season garden:
- Nasturtiums. As well as looking pretty, nasturtiums make great companion plants for your vegetables, helping to keep the bugs away
- Zinnias. They grow quickly, so are ideal for later planting
- Marigolds. These easy-to-grow flowers love the sunshine
- Black-eyed Susan. Bright, cheerful, and happy to be planted in June
- Cone flower. A pretty bloom that grows astonishingly quickly
What Fruits Can You Plant in June?
June is too late for many fruits and too early for fruit trees. However, you may be able to buy some everbearing strawberry plants in hanging baskets.
In June, your best bet fruit-wise is cape gooseberries which love the warmth, or melons. Because melons can be slow-growing, you may still need to grow these under glass, and avoid them if you live in a cooler zone.
What Vegetables Can You Plant in June?
Because the soil is lovely and warm, you can sow seeds directly into the beds at this time of year. Make sure you water them well, and watch out for signs of plants going to seed too early (they can do this if they become too warm or dry). If properly tended, you should have a great harvest before the first fall frosts.
Here are some great vegetables to plant in June:
- Potatoes. Because potatoes can take a long time to grow (many varieties take three months), this could actually be your last chance to plant them if you live in an area with early-fall frost. If you’re in a warmer zone, you can get a second crop in July for a more staggered harvest. Never planted them before? Watch this short film about how to grow potatoes
- Sweet potatoes. It’s not too late to get these tubers into the ground for some delicious fries later in the year
- Peas. You may have heard that peas don’t do well if planted in June. This is only a problem if you don’t water them well
- Swiss chard. This is a versatile and heat-tolerant plant, that’s happy to be planted in the summer. Beautifully colored Bright Lights is a good June variety
- Squash. Choose quick-growing varieties for a late-summer harvest
- Corn. This loves the sun, and if you plant it now, you should get a crop late summer/early fall. Just keep it well watered
- Peppers. These love the sun, so if you live in an area with cool Septembers, choose a fast-maturing variety
- Scallions. It may already be too late for the slow-growing onion, but you can plant speedier scallions at this time of year
- Carrots. Keep sowing carrot seeds every two-three weeks in summer, so your crop keeps on coming
Can You Plant Trees & Shrubs in June?
We’ll be honest: the summer isn’t the best time to plant out trees and shrubs. Trees always do better if they’re planted while they’re dormant; so while you might be OK with an evergreen (although it’s still too warm for a bare-rooted plant), it’s not a good time of year for fruit trees and deciduous trees in general.
Fall is the best time to plant trees and shrubs. This is because their complex root systems need certain conditions to establish. In the fall, the soil is warm and loose, and in most regions, you’re still a few weeks away from hard frosts. This gives the tree time to establish while it’s dormant and before the ground becomes too hard for its roots to settle.
In June, plan where you want your new tree to go in your yard, then wait a few weeks for the best tree planting conditions. Follow that old saying that when the leaves start to fall, it’s the time to plant trees.
What Can I Plant in Pots in June?
A lot of the plants we’ve already mentioned will do well in planters. Plant pots make an attractive addition to your patio, porch, or deck, and you can always bring them indoors if the frosts come early this fall. Here are a few suggestions for June container planting:
- An herb garden. This can be grown indoors or outdoors. Choose an aromatic blend of culinary herbs such as parsley, oregano, cilantro, sage, thyme, and rosemary
- Mint. This tough herb can be grown in a pot in June. In fact, always plant mint in a pot, unless you want to hand your entire bed over to this vigorous herb…
- Basil. Finally, this heat-loving herb will be happy
- Other ingredients that thrive in containers include garlic, chives, and chillies
- Colorful flowers such as zinnias and marigolds
- Everbearing strawberries (baby plants, not from seed)
- Veg including carrots, spinach, and chard can be grown in large, deep pots
Is it OK To Plants Seeds & Bulbs in June?
Because the soil is warm and loose, you can plant seeds directly into your garden in June. Just make sure that the soil doesn’t dry out. If you’re off on summer vacation, make sure you have an irrigation system or a helpful neighbor…
There aren’t many bulbs that you can plant in June. It’s too late for summer-flowering bulbs, and a bit too early for spring bulbs (best planted in the fall). However, if you want some extra fall color, try planting a few autumn crocus bulbs in June.
Final Thoughts: What Jobs Can I Do in The Garden in June?
Aside from planting, what else can you do in the garden in June? Getting those late summer plants and second crops in can be your main priority, but there are also a few other yard jobs to be getting on with.
- Look after your lawn. Mow it every couple of weeks, and keep checking it for dryness and bald patches
- Keep on top of weeds around your crops. The combination of the warm sun and the fact that you’re watering your new flowers and veg, means that weeds have the ideal conditions to thrive
- General maintenance and tidying. You’ll be outside more, so keep on top of genera; yard debris, so you have a lovely place to relax with a book, play with the kids, and hang out with your friends
- If you’re cooking outside, make sure you clean your grill after every use. Keep spills and crumbs off your furniture to deter summer bugs and rodents