Gardening Jobs to Do in June

Summer, glorious summer. June the 21st is the longest day of the year, marking mid-summer. Summer brings extra light and warmth, providing ample opportunities to enhance the beauty of your garden. The increased heat and light encourage growth, with abundant flowers and a bountiful harvest from your fruit, vegetable, and garden patches.

However, weeds are also growing enthusiastically in summer. Staying on top of them and keeping your garden well-maintained is important. Higher temperatures also mean plants respirate faster, losing moisture in the process. Keep your garden well hydrated but consider using watering techniques that minimize water loss.

Each month’s Jobs-to-Do article has a common format, and this one is no different:

  • Garden preparation jobs to do.
  • Garden maintenance jobs.
  • Vegetable gardening jobs to do.
  • Fruit garden jobs to do.
  • Indoor and container gardening projects.
  • Ornamental garden jobs to do.
  • A summary of what gardeners should focus on.

Garden Preparation Jobs to Do in June

There are less garden preparation jobs to do in June with the focus more on garden maintenance. amintenance
June Garden Preparation Tasks

This month we’re keeping the soil covered with multi-species cover crops. Most of the time is spent on garden maintenance jobs.  Likely, you have already harvested and enjoyed cool-weather crops like peas, spinach, and lettuce.

These can be planted again for a Fall harvest in a shaded area. Asparagus and rhubarb harvesting should be stopped now, as June brings the arrival of strawberries. It’s time to plant warm-weather crops like beans, tomatoes, peppers, corn, eggplant, melons, squash, and cucumbers. Carrots, beets, radishes, and onions may need thinning now.

Garden Maintenance Jobs in June

A gardener with glover weeding - one of the three essential garden maintenance jobs in June. The other two is plant hydration and risk management.
June Garden Maintenance Jobs to Do

As I suggested above, June is such a busy time, and here are some of the jobs you will need to do this month. Remember, little and often will win the race, but it may mean sacrificing some screentime to complete everything.

  • To help minimize nematode populations, add organic matter to the soil. Compost microorganisms boost the ground’s ability to store water and nutrients, promoting plant vigor and pest resistance.
  • Vegetables should be rotated so that the same vegetable (or members of the same vegetable family) is not repeatedly planted in the same spot. See the family list in the January section.
  • Weeds should be controlled in and around the garden since they might attract insects and illnesses. Mulching and hand-pulling or hoeing tiny weeds are the best ways to manage them. Straw, fallen leaves, and incomplete compost are all good mulch options. Undecomposed sawdust and wood mulches should not be utilized. Weeds may be controlled along the garden’s perimeter and between rows by layering newspaper and then covering it with leaves.
  • Select suitable cultivars that are resistant to nematodes and common illnesses.
  • Purchase insect-free transplants to avoid introducing diseases to your garden — or plant your own starter plants from seed. Flowering transplants should be avoided.
  • Place a collar around the plant to protect it from cutworms. A bottomless plastic cup or a waxed cardboard carton can be used to make the collar. The collar should reach a few inches above the ground’s surface and at least an inch below it.
  • Provide enough water and fertilizer to keep plants growing and healthy. Insect assaults are seldom fatal to a healthy plant. However, too much nitrogen might make plants attractive to aphids and whiteflies.
  • Pest concerns should be monitored or scouted twice weekly. This entails monitoring the plants from the bud to the soil, including upper and lower leaf surfaces, and keeping track of insect concerns and variety performance. Photograph any insects, illnesses, or helpful insects you come across.
  • Recognize helpful insects like praying mantes, spiders, big-eyed bugs, assassin bugs, lady beetles (also called ladybugs or ladybird beetles), and all wasps. Some of these insects may be bought; however, remember that many beneficial insects live naturally, and bought beneficials will depart if there are no insects to eat.
  • Plant insect-attracting flowers in the vegetable garden, useful for pollination and even pest control.
  • Large insects should be removed by hand and destroyed. Put them in a jar with soapy water and let them sink and drown.
  • Look for early signs of diseases and remove any infected leaves or plants to inhibit the spread of the disease.
  • Do not become alarmed and spray when you notice insect damage. Plants will continue to yield, even with a ten to twenty percent loss of leaves.
  • Quickly harvest ripe crops. Allowing overripe fruits to remain on the plant might lead to an increase in bug infestations.
  • Remove plants that aren’t producing and compost or dispose of them based on their health.

Soil Health Tasks for June

As mentioned in the May guide, cover your soil using at least four plant families, including plants with deep roots, legumes, grasses, and herbs.

To hold moisture around roots, spread mulch around thirsty crops such as beans and courgettes.

If you still need to apply mulch, it’s best to use 2 to 3 inches of it around trees and shrubs to conserve soil moisture and cool the soil for better root growth.

For effective mulching, maintain a layer of 2 to 3 inches around the tree’s drip line while keeping it a few inches away from the stem and trunk. A depth above 4 inches can cause problems with oxygen and moisture levels. However, keeping the mulch several inches away from the stems for trees and scrubs is essential to prevent damage.

Palms may require multiple fertilizer applications between April and September due to nutrient deficiencies, so it’s crucial to have your soil tested first.

If you need to water your plants, avoid wetting the leaves until early in the morning, giving them time to dry in the midday sun. This way, the leaves can dry before nightfall, which helps prevent leaf diseases. It’s also important to note that you should never fertilize when the soil is dry.

Compost any finished vegetable plants and replace them with new crops. To boost the efficiency of your composting process, ensure you start with a 30:1 mix of carbon (brown plant materials) and nitrogen (green foliage) and keep the batch damp and aerated. Turning the batch when the center warms up speeds up decomposition.

Vegetable Gardening Jobs to Do

A gardener harvesting lettuce. Several cold-season crops are ready to harvest, and warm season crop planting are all part of  vegetable gardening jobs to do in June.
June Vegetable Gardening Jobs to Do

Your hard work in the past few months is about to pay off, as you will have an excellent and diverse harvest. Regularly water your crops, particularly on warmer days, and support long-stemmed plants.

After a season focused on planting, July is focused on maintenance, which primarily involves managing moisture levels, controlling weeds, and managing pest and disease risks.

Garden Hydration

Maintaining consistent moisture in your vegetable garden can be achieved through convenient methods such as soaker hoses or drip irrigation. Another effective way is to use mulch, which is best done in mid-June when the soil has warmed up, and most seedlings have grown enough. Mulch can take various forms, such as straw, seedless hay, bark, black plastic, and more. It can provide your garden with moisture and help control weed growth.

To prevent blossom end rot, it is essential to keep an eye on your tomatoes and squash and take appropriate measures to address the issue. Maintaining a consistent moisture level in your soil can also help prevent this problem.

Controlling Weeds

To prevent weeds from returning next year, managing them before they germinate or go to seed is best. If willing, you can use hand pulling or hoeing to control weeds.

Pest Control

Various pests and predators can threaten your vegetable garden more than weeds. Insects and wildlife can feast on your delicious vegetables before you have a chance to enjoy them.

Beetles, aphids, slugs, cutworms, and caterpillars are some of the insects, while rabbits, woodchucks, and deer are examples of wildlife that love the same greens as you do. Fortunately, you can deter many vegetable pests using floating row covers which allow water and light to pass through.

Handpicking the pests off your vegetables can also be effective if you can stomach them. Additionally, insecticidal soaps, neem, and horticultural oil can aid in pest control.

It is possible to plant various vegetables in June, such as sweet potatoes, southern peas, summer squash, and okra. These vegetables can be harvested all through the summer and into the fall.

Vegetable gardens should be scouted several times weekly for insect and disease issues. If you spot early blight or bacterial leaf spot on tomato leaves, remove them immediately.

Harvest your vegetables when ripe for the freshest taste and to avoid pest issues.  Beans, peas, squash, cucumbers, and okra are typically ready for harvest in June. Harvest Irish potatoes when two-thirds of the tops have died down and store them in a cool, dark location.

Japanese beetles are active this month, and it’s crucial to deal with them quickly. Failure to do so might invite their friends and cause severe damage. The good news is that they are only around for about three weeks.

Japanese beetles can cause damage to over 300 plant species, so keep an eye out for them during the mid-summer period and use handpicking as a helpful strategy. Don’t forget that not all bugs in your garden are bad; you can attract good bugs by planting certain species of plants that keep the bad ones in check.

Fruit Garden Jobs to Do in June

A person with a spray bottle treating a fruit tree. Summer jobs to do in a fruit garden include managing risks.
June Fruit Gardening Jobs to Do

It’s the perfect time of year for grapes to grow in temperate climates. Be sure to water your plants frequently to ensure a great crop. Keep an eye out for signs of insect infestation on fruit-bearing trees. You can do this by raking back the mulch and inspecting the tree trunks for evidence of rodent activity.

To prevent birds from damaging young fruits, you can hang pie tins, rubber snakes, onion slices, or other deterrents from tree limbs.

If you spot caterpillars or other pests on your trees or plants, you should remove and kill them. Fruit moths from the Orient may have emerged already, so watch for them. On peaches, the first generation of these moths can be particularly harmful, as they attack the growing tips of the fruit.

If you notice any wilted shoots, trim them out. To help your fruit trees produce larger, healthier fruit at harvest time, thin out any overburdened trees. Be sure to space the fruit that has been thinned out a hand’s width apart.

Please take advantage of the strawberry harvest while it lasts. Once the strawberries have been harvested, you should renovate them. This involves mowing the rows, thinning out any extra plants, removing weeds, fertilizing, and mulching to keep weeds at bay.

Summer raspberries are also ripening right now. To eliminate apple maggot flies, you can hang red-painted balls coated with tanglefoot on apple trees to catch egg-laying females.

Peachtree borers can be controlled by spraying the trunks of peach trees and other stone fruits.

Finally, to ensure your young fruit trees grow properly, you should prune and train them to eliminate improperly positioned branches and establish optimum crotch angles.

Growing Small-Fruit Crops

Unlike small-fruit plants like strawberries, grapes, blueberries, and brambles, growing high-quality tree fruit may be more challenging and expensive for home fruit gardeners. One reason is that various pests and illnesses plague tree fruits, and summer rainfall and high relative humidity encourage disease-causing organisms to flourish and spread. Insects are also a problem.

The following factors will influence the success of your home fruit planting:

  • Frost susceptibility.
  • If your location gets enough sunlight.
  • Whether your location has at least 8 inches of well-drained soil.
  • Whether you pick plants that are winter hardy and suitable to your site.
  • Your capacity to keep illnesses, insects, weeds, and animals at bay.
  • Your capacity to employ sound cultural practices, such as supplying sufficient water.
  • Your capacity to complete tasks on schedule

June Indoor and Container Gardening Projects

Several potted plants outdoors. Indoor and container gardening jobs to do in June include bring some of the indoor plants outdoors.
June Indoor and Container Gardening Projects

When planting container-grown plants, ensure the soil is damp (not wet) and that the plant has been watered. The root ball is dry and sheds water when irrigated, which is one cause of loss in fresh plantings. The risk is exceptionally high when growing azaleas, mountain laurels, and rhododendrons in peat-based soil mixtures. If one of these plants begins to wilt soon after planting, hydrate the root ball by placing a hose at the base of the stem and slowly watering until the soil is completely saturated.

Straighten any tangled roots after taking the plant from the container, then cut a few shallow slashes along the side to encourage root branching. To limit the likelihood of water pooling at the soil line and causing rot, ensure the plant’s base is slightly above grade level.

During summer, you can move indoor plants outside for a change of scenery, but to prevent damage, avoid placing them in direct sunlight. Only move indoor plants outdoors once temperatures are consistently above 50°F (10°C). During warmer weather, check soil moisture regularly.

Ornamental Garden Jobs to Do in June

A person mowing a lawn. Part of the garden jobs to do in June include turf management and planting summer flowering shrubs for next year.
June Ornamental Garden Jobs to Do

If you prepared the future for your arrival, you would now have summer-blooming shrubs, including the list below. However, if you do not have them, now is a good time to plant these, allowing them to establish their root systems before winter.

Butterfly BushPearl Bush
CaryopterisRose of Sharon
Shrubs that Bloom in Summer

Flower Garden Maintenance Jobs

It’s important to remove withered flowers from bulbs and spring-blooming perennials. Ensure seedlings have enough space by thinning them out. Watch out for bagworms, especially on juniper and arborvitae plants.

Use balanced rose fertilizer after the first flush of rose blossoms. Don’t assume that begonias with rhizomatous roots only belong in shade; many varieties can thrive in full sun with sufficient water and good drainage.

Applying a second spray for effective hardwood tree borer control is necessary. Apply organic mulches as the soil warms up to preserve moisture, deter weeds, and improve soil quality.

Take softwood cuttings from trees and shrubs once the spring rush of growth slows down. Prevent black spot disease by regularly spraying fungicides on roses. Fertilize trees and shrubs before July 4th.

Check out the Dwarf Conifer collection for fresh evergreen ideas. Prune any spring-blooming trees and shrubs before the end of the month. Keep the soil cool and weed-free by mulching it, but keep it away from tree trunks. Large trees or shrubs require thorough soaking with a watering bucket during hot weather.

Flower Planting Options – June

Although not many flowers are generally planted in June, the list below offers some options:

FlowerGrowth HabitPlanting Time
ClarkiaAnnualEarly June
CosmidiumAnnualEarly June
CosmosAnnualEarly June
CynoglossumBiennialEarly June

June Lawn Care Jobs

Yay for summer! While this season is packed with gardening work, remember to take the time to enjoy it. This is your reward for your diligence over the past three months – an oasis space for fun in the sun with friends, family, and pets.

Hotter, dryer weather and more foot traffic will place some demands on your lawn-care time, but June is generally less work than the preceding three months. Of course, this depends on the efforts you made in spring. If your lawn was in poor condition after the winter ended and you still need to address the concerns in the spring, it will not improve during the summer.

Saving Water on Your Lawn this Summer

The optimal time to water your grass is early morning, between 4:00 and 10:00 a.m. Early morning is ideal since there is less wind and less sunshine to evaporate the water. Watering in the morning allows your grass to dry quickly, preventing disease spread.

Dehydration Indicators
  • Step on the lawn test – if the grass doesn’t spring back right away, it needs water, and if it pops right back up, it already has plenty of water. 
  • Observe your grass. If you notice the blades are curled, your grass is water-stressed, and it is time to water.
  • Check for a color change. It may sound basic, but it is time to water if your grass is starting to lose its green color.
How Often to Water:
  • Water once or twice every week, around an inch per week, depending on your area and the season. Watering deeply once or twice a week is preferable to watering lightly many times a week because light watering develops shallow roots, making plants less drought-resistant.
  • Place a tuna can in the region of the sprayer and measure how long it takes to fill – the time it takes to provide an inch of water to your lawn.
  • Reduce your water cost by relying on Mother Nature. To determine how much rain your grass receives, use a rain gauge. You probably won’t need to turn on your sprinklers if you get an inch of rain in a week.
  • Some irrigation systems have built-in sensors that monitor how much water your lawn has received and will adapt to recent rainfall, temperature, and soil type. Sandy soils drain at 20 inches per hour if no compost is added. Adding compost boosts microorganisms, which promotes the production of water-holding aggregates.

If your lawn isn’t doing well, wait until autumn to address any issues — summer is usually too hot and dry for such work. Watering your lawn in the morning and allowing it to dry before stepping on it is critical to keeping it moist.

Summer lawn cutting will be less frequent depending on your location, rainfall, and lawn health. To prevent water loss due to evaporation, maintain your lawn higher. Also, mowing the grass excessively short in the summer might harm the lawn’s health.

An inch of water per week should be applied to established lawns (including rainfall). This equates to about 620 gallons per 1,000 square feet.

Raising the mowing height to 3 to 4 inches is a good idea, as taller grass provides shade to the roots, promoting deep roots and drought and heat resilience.

June Gardeners’ Focus

Drip irrigation can save water and provide plants with the required hydration - part of the gardeners focus of gardening jobs to do in June.
June Focus Garden Jobs to Do

June has fewer garden preparation jobs. This month we’re more focused on keeping our garden and crops safe. Garden maintenance jobs are focused on managing weed emergence, which may carry diseases and provide a habitat for pests.

Vegetable gardening jobs to do in June include harvesting and planting war-season crops. Again, much time will be spent ensuring enough hydration, controlling weeds, and limiting pest and disease risks. Avoid wetting foliage and use a drip irrigation strategy instead.  

Fruit garden jobs include strawberry harvesting and planting fruit trees, allowing them to establish themselves before colder weather sets in fully.


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