Summer is finally here and it’s time to spend some time in the garden. Here are some ideas for prioritizing what to do in the garden in June to get on track.
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Last month we spent a lot of time weeding, planting, and harvesting spring crops.
The June Garden
In June, flowers bloom, abundant rains keep everything green and perky, pests are at a minimum, and the harvests are rolling in.
This month, we delight in being outdoors surrounded by beauty and abundance. Here at Tenth Acre Farm, berry harvests come in the form of black raspberries, currants, strawberries, and cherries. We continue to sow seeds and plant seedlings.
Note: We’re in USDA hardiness zone 6a, so the information in this post may or may not apply to your location.
Gardening in 15 MINUTES A DAY
If you’ve read any of my posts in the In the Garden monthly series, you know that I have a 15-minute-a-day garden policy. Of course, spend all the time you have or want to, but if time is not something you have a lot of, then commit to at least 15 minutes a day.
Time seems to be the resource most of us are short of, so maintaining the garden can frequently seem overwhelming.
Side Bar: The strawberries are rolling in here. Nine 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 and save jam-making for the fall, when it starts getting dark outside at 4:00. Making jam is an anti-seasonal affective disorder activity!
So, back to the garden and feeling overwhelmed.
Set aside 15 minutes every day for gardening activities. This will keep gardening at the forefront of your mind and maintain it as a priority without requiring you to give up “real life” stuff. Weeding for 7 minutes over morning coffee and harvesting for 8 minutes with your happy hour drink will keep your garden going and make sure the garden continues to be your happy place rather than a source of stress.
Sure, there’s always more that can be done, but busy people need strategies.
Remember, THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN!
PRIORITIZE THE HARVEST
Though you might have seedlings to plant, seeds to sow, and weeds to pick, your most important task is to harvest and use what you’ve already grown.
You don’t want to waste what you’ve already taken the time to grow, and remember, THIS IS SUPPOSED TO SAVE YOU MONEY!
If you’ve got tomatoes and peppers to plant but your herbs are bursting with freshness, pick the herbs. They go for premium pricing in stores and at farmers markets, have nutrition profiles that are off-the-charts, and you have them growing for very little trouble.
Therefore, pick the low maintenance, high value crops. Then figure out how to process and use what you’ve picked. Plus, you can plant your tomatoes until mid-June. No need to panic 🙂
Harvest in June
- Perennials: asparagus, black raspberries, cherries, currants, rhubarb, strawberries
- See this post for ideas on how to use these fruits.
- Herbs: basil, chives, calendula, chamomile, cilantro, dill, echinacea, fennel, marjoram, oregano, parsley, sage, sunflower sprouts, sweet alyssum
- Beet family: beets, beet greens, spinach, swiss chard
- Cabbage family: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, radish, turnips, turnip greens. See the following posts for recipes:
- Alliums: garlic, onions (cure for 2 weeks before storing)
- potatoes (cure for 2 weeks before storing)
- water and weed (See: 5 Weeds you Want in your Garden)
- mulch garden beds (See: Mulching in the Garden)
- prune black raspberries (See: How to Train and Prune Black Raspberries)
- prune suckers from indeterminate tomatoes
Start Seeds (in Trays)
- fall broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale
- lettuce (one of my favorite varieties is Parris Island romaine)
- Herbs: basil, calendula, chamomile, cilantro, dill, fennel, nasturtium, oregano, parsley, sunflower, sweet alyssum
- Legumes: beans, peas
- Beet family: beets, spinach, swiss chard
- Cabbage family: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, kale, kohlrabi, radish, rutabaga, turnips
- cucumber, melons, summer/winter squash
- Herbs: basil, chives, echinacea, lavender, lemon balm, marjoram, peppermint, rosemary, sage, sweet alyssum, thyme
- Cabbage family: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (Try the premium late Dutch variety for sauerkraut), cauliflower, collards, kale
- Nightshade family: eggplant, peppers, fall potatoes, tomatoes (Try Katahdin potatoes for a fall crop)
- Allium family: leeks (in area reserved for fall cold frame), onions
- sweet potato slips
What’s going on in your garden? I hope you’ll take a break and enjoy it!