In the Garden: What to do in June

chard harvest

And…Blammo. [said like Schmidt on New Girl].

Just like that, May is over and we’re bounding into the summer months!

Last month, I declared May as “The Month to Get Everything in the Ground“. It’s a true statement.

Do as I say, not as I do: just yesterday I exclaimed on Facebook, “Am I the only one with seedlings still in pots, waiting to be planted”? Luckily, there were a few others relieved to find a procrastinator’s club. Or maybe it’s a late-to-the-party club.

Either way, here we are in June: the month of “Life’s Just a Bowl of Cherries”!

cherry harvest

cherry harvest

For me, the strawberries are also rolling in. Five pounds already stashed in the freezer with more on the way. Did you know you can make jam from frozen fruit? I get the fruit in the freezer ASAP and make jam once daylight savings time hits and it’s dark outside at 4:00. Making jam is anti-seasonal affective disorder.

So, back to the garden. Remember the rules for having your best garden? They will save you from yourself:

1.  Your Best Garden in just 15 minutes a day.

Pull some weeds with your morning coffee or pick some strawberries over a happy hour glass of wine. Set a timer, do what you can do, then on to the rest of your life! (Or 1.5 hours each weekend, 3-3.5 hours every other weekend, or 7 hours per month. Your choice.)

2.  Prioritize the Harvest.

Growing your own produce is not inherently cheaper than going to the grocery store and buying conventional crap from 2,000 miles away. It’s especially true if you don’t harvest! Reap what you’ve already sown. The rest of your garden to-do list can wait.


When you head out to the garden, do the weekly tasks first (below), then dip into the tasks for the 1st and 15th days of each month. Do what you can, and if it’s the 5th of the month (say, for example) and you’re still transplanting peppers – listed for the 15th of last month – so be it.

No stressing allowed in the garden!

Weekly Gardening Tasks in June


  • basil
  • beets and beet greens
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • chard
  • cherries
  • collards
  • currants
  • garlic (cure for two weeks before storing)
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • lettuce
  • okra
  • peas
  • potatoes (cure for two weeks before storing)
  • radishes
  • raspberries
  • spinach
  • strawberries
  • turnips and turnip greens


Bacon and Egg Salad

Bacon and Egg Salad

Crispy bacon and hard boiled egg slices top off homegrown fresh, crunchy lettuce and shredded carrots. Make a few days’ worth of lunch salads!

Tasks for June 1st

1. Maintain

  • Mulch all garden beds well (Bare soil = damaged soil. I use buckets of pulled weeds.)
  • Water and weed

2. Direct Sow

  • beans
  • beets
  • carrots
  • cilantro
  • green onions
  • kale
  • kohlrabi
  • peas
  • radish
  • rutabaga
  • spinach
root harvest

root harvest

3. Plant

  • seed potatoes
  • eggplant seedlings
  • okra seedlings
  • lettuce seedlings

4. Start

  • lettuce seedlings in flats

Tasks for June 15th


strawberry harvest

strawberry harvest

Direct Sow

  • beets
  • carrots
  • cilantro
  • kale
  • spinach


  • lettuce seedlings

Last Call

  • Transplant leeks and tomatoes
  • Direct sow onions
  • Plant sweet potato slips


  • Start lettuce and broccoli in flats

How’s your garden coming along? Take a break and enjoy it!


  1. Beth says

    You make it sound so easy :`) I’ve been testing your advice and heading out to the garden just after I get up. It gives me a tremendous sense of satisfaction to know I’m making progress, albeit slowly. Before I come inside I harvest some little kales and chard along with a few handfuls of herbs. Makes salad prep a snap. Thanks for your suggestions and encouragement.

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