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Summer Gardening: June Garden Checklist Zones 4-5

June is bustling with much-anticipated excitement for the lucky gardeners in Zones 4-5. Some cool-season crops will be ready for picking, planting season is in full swing, seedlings are sprouting up, and fragrant and beautiful blooms are accenting the landscape.

Spring weather in Zone 4 and Zone 5 has likely been erratic and unpredictable, and hopefully, you’ve seized those warmer and sunnier days to get your gardens prepped for planting! It’s essential to continue to keep up with garden chores so that you can get the most out of your gardens throughout the growing season.

Not sure what exactly you should be working on in the garden this month in your region? Check out our June Garden Checklist Zones 4-5 for a list of June to-dos that will take you one step closer to fruitful gardens and a lush, green landscape.

gloved woman hand holding weed and tool removing it from soil

Planning Your June Garden in Zones 4-5

If you’ve kept up with your monthly garden to-do lists, then you have a good foundation for what’s coming up this growing season. Your trusty garden journal will be your best friend this month!

  • What crops are you planting this season? As you dream of your future harvests, think about what you will be growing and do some research on recipes, canning procedures, supplies, and jot down ideas on what you will do with your fruits and vegetables once picking time arrives.
  • Walk around public areas or neighbor’s gardens and get some ideas on some plants that draw your attention. Take photos and add them to your garden journal so that you can identify them at your local garden center or on a plant identification app. Then seek them out as you venture out shopping at your local nursery.
  • Garden center and nursery shelves are full of color, seemingly endless plant varieties, hanging baskets billowing with blooms, containers, and everything garden-related. Do you have anything on your wish list? Keep a garden shopping list in your garden journal and jot down any supplies you still need at the garden center.
  • Walk around and assess what pests are showing up in your yard right now and note any traps or companion planting options that can help you combat them. Add row covers if any cool-season crops seem impacted by pests.
  • Ensure that your garden has the flowering plants it needs to attract beneficial pollinators and predatory insects to the garden.
  • Use your sketched-out garden design plans and dream boards to figure out where your newly acquired plants and seedlings will go.
  • If you constructed new raised garden beds over the winter and haven’t set them out yet, now is the time! Fill them with raised bed soil or compost and lots of organic matter.
  • Calculate the amount of soil that you will need to fill up your garden beds. Are your raised beds very deep? Consider layering organic materials in your raised beds by adding tree rounds and setting them in the bottom of the trough. Layer compost and raised bed soil on top. The organic matter will break down over time and save you money by taking up square footage so that you can use more raised bed soil and compost elsewhere.
  • Decide what you still need to fill gaps in your garden. This is best to do before you head to the store, so you know what you are looking for.
  • Are you thinking of adding fruit plants or summer bulbs to the garden? It’s planting time, so grab your favorite varieties while they are still available.

Prepare & Maintain the Summer Garden

This is a busy month for gardeners when it comes to June garden prep and maintenance! Grab your sun hat and your tuned-up garden tools and get those gardens ready for growing with some essential tasks.

Weeding the Garden

Those pesky weeds make quite an entrance throughout June, and they can take over a garden if you aren’t on top of them early on.

  • Pull weeds from your June garden early in the month; they are much easier to eliminate when young.
  • Continually patrol the garden area for weeds and pluck them out whenever you see them.
  • Keep other late-spring and early-summer weeds from propagating by adding a couple of inches of organic mulch to the garden beds.
  • Use an organic weed control method to eliminate difficult weeds.

Re-edging Garden Beds

If you notice that your shrubs and gardens have overgrown and filled in space close to your edging or lawn border, it might be a good time for some upkeep.

  • Remove edging and dig out the bed edges to re-establish the boundaries.
  • Then, replace the edging.
  • This will keep your lawn from seeding into your garden beds and keep the two areas from competing with each other for nutrients, water, and root space.
Flower garden

Mulching & Amending Your Organic Garden

Mulching and amending can be the difference between a prolific garden and a mediocre one. Just as mulch insulated your garden beds over the winter and early spring, it will keep your plant roots cool as the temperatures begin to heat up. This is particularly beneficial for your winter garden vegetables, which seek to bolt in warmer temperatures.

Adding a couple of inches of mulch to your garden beds can also help stomp out reseeding weeds, regulate moisture. It also will help keep your soil from eroding during bouts of heavy rain in June.

If your soil test results are in, add compost and any other necessary organic soil amendments to help build healthier soil.  Support microbial life by using organic fertilizers and mulches like fish fertilizer and organic matter.

Summer Composting

Compost adds key nutrients for overall plant vitality, moisture retention, and soil health when mixed into your existing soil. Create a compost pile in your own backyard if you don’t already have one. If you already have one established, take some steps to bolster the nutrient-rich soil that is brewing from within.

  • Continue to add organic matter to your compost throughout the year.
  • Add water to your compost heap so that it will heat up and break down efficiently.
  • Add some fish fertilizer to the heap and turn the pile. This type of organic fertilizer does wonders for promoting healthy soil and microbial life.

Fertilizing the June Garden

Treat your perennials and shrubs to a feeding from some slow-release organic fertilizer this month to give them their best start to a showstopping growing season.

Watering Gardens in Zone 4 & Zone 5

As planting season begins, think about how you will water your gardens.

  • Start watering your garden with water systems such as drip irrigation, soaker hoses, sprinklers, hose sprayers, and a few strategically placed watering cans.
  • If a drip irrigation system was in your plans for this season, it is prime time to get it set up and test it out before complete planting takes place. If you already have a system in place, check to make sure that it is working properly and that hoses have no breaks.

Speaking of water, get rid of any standing water that is present in your yard. Scour the yard for any standing water and dump it so that mosquitoes won’t have an opportunity to lay their eggs. This is the time of the year when they can really multiply and make for an itchy and unpleasant summer yard.

Take Care of the Wildlife in Your Yard

Don’t forget about the wildlife throughout June. One of the most enjoyable parts of summer for many gardeners is watching the birds darting around and hearing their sweet songs. Inviting birds to your backyard helps create a wildlife habitat and significantly helps control the insect population, protecting your plants.

  • Fill up some bird feeders or hang some suet and watch the array of birds that flock to the feast.
  • Add a hummingbird feeder!
  • Plant flowering perennial plants that draw in beneficial pollinators like salvia, bee balm, rudbeckia, Shasta daisies, and other flowering favorites of hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.
  • Do a thorough cleaning of bird feeders and birdbaths.
  • Fill birdbaths with fresh, clean water.
  • Add a birdhouse or two to help provide a safe new home for nesting.
  • Plant sunflower seeds around the yard so that the birds can enjoy the seeds in late summer.
Zucchini Plant in garden

Outdoor Planting in Zones 4 & 5

There is plenty of transplanting and seed sowing on the June Garden Checklist Zones 4-5. As always, consult your local extension office or trusted nursery for ideal planting times in your region.

Outdoor Planting in Zone 4

Zone 4 gardeners can begin transplanting tender seedlings like tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers once the soil temperature reaches a minimum of 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Direct sow seeds for okra, corn, beans, cucumbers, and squash into your garden beds.

All Natural Raised Bed & Potting Mix

Kellogg Garden Organics

All Natural Raised Bed & Potting Mix

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Outdoor Planting in Zone 5

Zone 5 gardeners are relatively all in for planting. It’s time to plant sweet potatoes, peppers, squash, pumpkins, watermelon, okra, tomatoes, and eggplant.

  • Be sure to add mulch to your cool-season crops so that their roots remain cool to avoid bolting.
  • Thin out the fruit on your fruit trees by removing some of the fruits, allowing 6 inches of space between them.  This will help your fruit trees produce more ample harvest.
  • Continue with outdoor seed sowing this month for direct sow selections.

Harvesting in Zones 4 & 5

Harvest time is here! It’s time for some of your hard work in the vegetable garden to pay off with the start of a fruitful harvest.

Pick your peas, spinach, and lettuce regularly so that they will keep producing.

Cool-season crops like beets, broccoli, cauliflower, and kale should be ready for picking.


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6 Comments

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  1. Very informative. Thank you. I’d appreciate information on container gardening on my 2nd story deck which gets little sun. Thank you in advance.

  2. Hi,
    I enjoyed this article. I have a raisedbed garden and am interested in how to fit more plants into it. It is 4 feet wide, 8 feet one and 3 feet high.I have 4 Big Boy tomato plants, 2 across from each other on each end. I have one Butternut squash on one end and an Acorn squash on the other end. I have a Cucumber plant in the middle. I used to have a huge garden and I love gardening. I miss having a big garden but now it is too much work for me. I am 79 years old now. I am surprised that I have had trouble with my red raspberry plants not producing any raspberries any more. Do you think that they are just old and that is why ? How long do they last?

    • Wow, what a great garden! It could be age or health issues. Raspberry plants, depending on the variety and soil conditions can produce for 10-15 years. Raspberry plant roots are perennial, living for many years while the canes are biennial, living two years, then they die back.

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