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Summer Gardening: June Garden Checklist Zones 6-8

June gardening is thrilling for those in Zones 6-8. Outdoor planting is in full swing, some plants are reaching harvest time, new life is springing up everywhere, and the summer is arriving.

As things begin to warm up consistently, so does the rate of growth in gardens. If you wonder what you should be doing in the garden this month, check out our June Garden Checklist Zones 6-8 for tips that will have your garden producing bountiful harvests, prolific blooms, and a rewarding, lush landscape.

Pink Gloved hand mulching a garden

Garden Planning in Zones 6-8

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

  • Walk around the garden with your garden journal and note the pests you see in the garden.
  • Jot down what varieties of plants have been successful so far and which types didn’t perform. Were certain pests or sunlight a problem?  Write down your thoughts in your garden journal so that you will remember these tidbits next year.
  • Consider what companion plants will attract good bugs to your garden to combat them.
  • Jot down the rainfall you have been seeing this month and consider whether investing in a drip irrigation system would be helpful.
  • It’s not too early to start thinking about fall garden vegetables that you are considering growing from seed. Start perusing seed catalogs for varieties that you are thinking of producing.
  • If berry bushes are forming fruits, make sure you have netting ready to set on bushes to protect them from eager birds.
  • 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.

Summer Garden Prep & Maintenance

Gardens are in a surge of growth this month for gardeners in Zones 6-8. Here are some June gardening tasks to keep your gardens in tip-top shape as we zoom into the heat of summer.

Weeding the Summer Garden

Weeds are popping up everywhere throughout the month of June, and they can really invade your garden space, stealing essential nutrients, water, and space from your prized plantings. It’s crucial to eliminate them as you see them.

  • Walk your landscape and pluck weeds out completely. Weeds are easier to pull when they are young.
  • Weed regularly so that unwanted plants do not have a chance to reseed themselves, leading to more significant problems.
  • Use organic weed control methods like pouring boiling water on weeds or spraying weeds with a mixture of white vinegar and dish soap to kill weeds.
  • Add mulch to your garden or plant ground cover anywhere you see bare soil.
  • After weeding, if you haven’t done so already, add a couple of inches of organic mulch to your garden beds to keep weeds from propagating further.
Metal watering can in flower garden

Fertilizing the June Garden

June gardening should include fertilizing your vegetable garden, perennial gardens, and container plants.

Kellogg Garden Organics

All Purpose Fertilizer

  • Add compost and fertilize your fruit trees to give them a boost.
  • Reapply fertilizer to flowering annuals, hanging baskets, container gardens, and vegetables.
  • Always fertilize after you have weeded so that you are not feeding the weeds!

June Garden Watering Tips

Things are heating up, and summer is rolling in by the middle of June, so be sure that you are keeping up with the watering chores. As always, if you live in an area where there are water usage restrictions, always abide by these guidelines.

  • Container plants and hanging baskets may need water daily now that they have established themselves and the temperatures have risen.
  • Water perennial plants, vegetable gardens, and shrubs thoroughly and allow plants to dry adequately between watering.
  • Ensure that your drip irrigation system is set up correctly and is in good working order before the heat of summer rolls in.

Garden & Landscape Pruning

  • It’s not too late to prune back spring-flowering shrubs. They will set their buds for next year’s blooms by midsummer, so get it done in early June if you haven’t done so already.
  • Prune the suckers off your tomato plants during June gardening. Pruning tomato plants helps them push more energy into the plant’s central stalk and fruiting.
  • Pinch off spent blooms on annuals and perennials.
  • It’s a good time to thin fruit trees so that set fruits are a minimum of six inches apart.
  • Prune back any overgrown shrubs.
  • It’s also an excellent time to prune back any annual plants to keep them in check. This will keep them from becoming leggy and force them to branch out into fuller plants.
  • Cut back the withered foliage of spring-flowering bulbs. If they need to be divided, you can do so now.

Dump Standing Water

Mosquitoes can reproduce like wildfire in even the tiniest bit of standing water. Patrol your yard and garden and dump out standing water from catch basins under containers, low spots in the garden where water pools, stagnant birdbaths, and any other water catcher.

Take Care of the Wildlife in Your Yard

Don’t forget about the wildlife when you’re considering June gardening. Inviting birds to your backyard helps create a wildlife habitat and significantly helps control the insect pest 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 perennials 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 clean water.
  • Add a birdhouse or two to help provide a safe new home for nesting.
  • Plant sunflower seeds so that the birds can enjoy the seeds in late summer.

Outdoor Planting in Zones 6-8

Continue sowing seeds directly outdoors and practice succession planting.  All seeds and transplants can be placed outdoors at this time. Let the growing commence!

Basket of Tomatoes

Harvesting in Zones 6-8

The time has come for you to reap the rewards of your hard work. It’s harvest time for many of your well-tended crops. Remember to pick produce often so that the plants will keep producing for an extended period of time.

Here are some of the mouthwatering veggies that you can bring from harvest to table throughout the month of June:

  • Asparagus – early June only, then allow fronds to form for next season.
  • Rhubarb– early June, then allow remaining foliage to push energy back into the plant’s tubers.

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8 Comments

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  1. Hello, the guides are so wonderful. I have recently moved from Roseville Ca – zone 9- dry heat to Coats NC – zone 8, but humid . Although originally from Boston, Ive been in Ca for over 40 yrs. This guide is perfect for me. Thank you
    Our home came with an underground water system- we have no idea who, what or where, no skimatic or plan- a – gram came with the house. Being an out of state purchase- we had no ” walk- thru” and neither realtor is being cooperative! Any idea whom or how we can figure it out thank you in advance
    Tammy S

    • Hi Tammy, we’re so pleased to hear you’re enjoying our guides! We recommend contacting your city planning office to find out more about your underground water system. If it was permitted, they should have plans and records for it. We hope you have a great season!

    • Hi Rosi, hardiness zones are a great tool to help gardeners determine planting, growing, are harvesting times. However, there is often variation based on your region’s microclimates and annual weather discrepancies. We recommend reviewing both zones 8 and 9 planting recommendations as well as reaching out to your local county extension office for expert planting advice. We hope you have a great season!

  2. I live in the Zone 7. My asparagus is over. I cut back the tall ferny bushes and more asparagus sprouted. Now it’s the beginning of June, the asparagus is over. Do I cut these ferny bushes down again?

    • Hi Joan, ideally, asparagus should be cut back in the fall, but it is important that you wait until all of the foliage has died back and turned brown or yellow. Here are some additional asparagus harvesting and care tips:

      – In the springtime, harvest spears when they are 6 to 10 inches tall and before buds begin to open.
      – Break off or cut spears at their bases at ground level and continue harvesting spears for six to eight weeks.
      – Once midsummer rolls in, allow the plant to grow unharvested to gather the nutrients needed to grow for the following season. If plants are not producing well, they may need more time to mature.
      – Allow the plant to grow and store energy for future production.
      – If any spears attain a height of 10 inches or more, allow them to remain on the plant as a source of energy to the root system.

      For more information on growing asparagus, check out this blog post: https://www.kellogggarden.com/blog/gardening/how-to-plant-grow-asparagus/. Happy Gardening!

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