What to do in the garden in June: 10 gardening tasks

For those of us in France, it certainly still feels more like spring, but June is an important month in the garden, as the seasons change and plants come into maturity during the summer months. This month, there is more and more to do in the garden, and thankfully the days are longer, meaning you can spend more time outside. Here's what I'll be doing in my garden this month, and what you should add to your to-do list too!

what to do in the garden in june - gardening tasks

1. Watering: Get on a good schedule

You'll likely already have started hardening off your seedlings planted earlier this year, so now's the time to get on a good watering schedule.

I suggest watering your plants early in the morning or late in the evenings, where the water can really seep down into the soil and reach the roots. If you water during the hottest part of the day, you risk the water evaporating before it reaches the roots.

2. Weeds: Stay on top of the game

Weeds, like all other plants, will really start taking off this month. It's important to get a handle on weeding so your preferred plants aren't competing for root space and nutrients.

To avoid chemicals, if you can, it's best to pluck your weeds by hand or use gardening tools to cut them. You can also lay out some weed-control fabric to avoid them from seeding. 

3. Mulching: Save water & repel weeds

In tandem with the previous two tips, June is the perfect time to mulch your plants. It helps retain moisture and keep the soil cooler, thus reducing waterings. It can help deter weeds.

It's not the prettiest, but I like to apply a layer of straw around my plants, even my potted plants. You can also use materials like wood chips or compost. Keep in mind that some materials can change the pH level of the soil as it decomposes, which isn't ideal.

4. Fertilizer: Feeding Your plants

You'll likely want to start fertilizing your plants this month, particularly ones in pots. If you haven't already, opt for a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to provide essential nutrients.

A good option is using a mature compost or manure. You can also try some other organic fertilizers like compost tea or fish emulsion.

5. Shade: For you and your plants

For certain plants, you might want to offer some improv shade. If you've noticed the leaves getting burnt, try to strategically place your patio furniture in ways that can offer shade at least during the hottest hours of the day.

You might also consider moving around your potted plants and placing them in a more shady area as potted plants can be more sensitive to temperature changes. Plus, you'll likely want to wash off and rearrange that patio furniture so you can start throwing garden parties and enjoy the outdoors.

6. Planting: Plant smart to optimize your space

For those in colder USDA Zones (Hardiness zones 1-4), June is still an excellent time to sow certain plants. If you've been keeping any cucumber or pumpkin seedlings in the greenhouse, you can now start can start planting them outside.

gardening checklist june

This is also an excellent month to plant elephant ear bulbs in pots. We've found that it's actually beneficial for their growth to wait until it really gets hot to start planting them.

To ensure a continuous harvest, those living in warmer locations can even start planting a second round of crops and start planing for autumn.

When it comes to flowers, you'll want to direct sow annuals outside, and start planning ahead for when to plant ranunculus corms in the fall.

7. Pests: Look out for critters and disease

Pests like aphids love fresh new growth on plants, so now's a critical time to keep a close eye on your plants for signs of pests. In addition to slugs, mealy bugs, and hornworms, you'll want to protect your fruit from critters like birds and rabbits

Some eco-friendly and ehtical ways to do this are by using neem oil, insecticidal soap, and companion planting. You can also cover your berry bushes with netting to deter certain animals.

8. Staking: Support your plants

The best time to stake your plants would have been a few months ago, however, if you haven't staked them, do it now! Plants like peonies and tomatoes won't stand up on their own and will need some support or they'll eventually topple over.

Taller plants like dahlias too will do best if tied to something, particularly during wind and storms. Plus, staking your plants will help improve air circulation and aid in harvesting. 

9. Pruning and deadheading: Keep things tidy

If you're in a hot and sunny location, June might already be the time to start pruning and daedheading certain plants. For example, your wisteria and ranunculus have finished blooming, so be sure to cut them off as this can help deter some pests.

Your roses will likely have already started blooming, and deadheading them can encourage more flowers. Plus, this helps keep your garden looking clean.

10. Harvesting: Early crops, flowers, and bulbs

Early June is when you can start harvesting spring crops like lettuce, radishes, spinach, and peas. Flowering plants like yarrow and delphinium are likely in full bloom, and both make excellent floral arrangements, meaning now's a good time to harvest them for bouquets.

Any spent spring bulbs like tulips can still be divided if the foliage has died back. If the foliage hasn't died back yet, make a note of the precise location of your bulbs so you can come back to it in the fall.

Your June to-do list conclusion

June is a pivotal month in the garden, but the effort is worth it for the rewards of a thriving, productive landscape. By staying on top of these essential tasks, including strategic planting and planning, you can enjoy a beautiful and bountiful garden all summer long.