To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: June 2015

It’s June. When the hell did that happen? Everything is coming on now – tomatoes, cherries, strawberries, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, turnips, lettuce, radishes and more are finding their way from garden to kitchen.

This is the beginning of a crescendo of harvesting and preserving that will only get more intense until, finally, sometime around October, we will all collapse, spent and grateful to slow down. Deep breath, get ready. The beginning of bounty is here.

Printable At-A-Glance Grow-Guide!

If you like your Gardening To Lists simple and direct, you’re in luck! Just click the image below to download the June At-A-Glance Grow Guide as a printable PDF.

Or, continue reading for the full details on everything you should be doing in your garden this month.

What To Plant Now June

Plan and Purchase


It’s time to plan the fall and overwintering garden. I know, weird, right? It gets me every year. “Brussels Sprouts? I have to think about Thanksgiving veg now?!” Yup, you do. If you are into the year-round harvest thing, now is when you get your gameplan together and start planting for things as far away as next May’s overwintering cauliflower.

Remember: we grow in summer to harvest in fall and winter. If you are new to the year-round gardener thing, you might want to read How To Make Succession Planting and Year-Round Gardening Really Work.

Sow Indoors

Mid June is when I start my first wave of fall and winter crops. Brussels sprouts take forever to grow, so I start them early. Fall and winter cauliflower, winter cabbage and broccoli and kohlrabi (the big winter-keeper types) should all be started somewhere between mid-June and mid-July, depending on your particular climate and when you hope to harvest.

At this time of year, if you have a greenhouse or sunny porch, you can start the fall crops outside, either in a nursery bed or in little pots. They will dry out quickly, though, so be diligent about watering. You can also turn the seed lights back on and start them indoors if that’s easier for you and the energy suck doesn’t bother you.

Be aware of what varieties you are planting. Spring brassicas aren’t bred to hold up in winter weather, so seek out varieties that will work for when you plan to harvest them. Typically, late-maturing cabbages take 100+ days to mature, while the tender speedy types are around 60-80. Rule of thumb: vegetables that grows slower hold longer.

Plant Outside


It’s not at all too late to get any of your direct-seeded summer crops in, but don’t delay.

  • Beans – I’ve got several plantings of beans up and climbing. Pole, bush, dry, snap: try several types.
  • Summer & Winter Squash – My squashes are all in and looking pretty big and awesome at this point. If you direct seed winter squash at this time of year, plant a faster maturing, smaller framed variety. Sowings of summer squash can still go in reliably.
  • Melons – Plant a short season variety.
  • Cucumbers – Sow directly and try trellising! Cucumbers are easy to grow vertically and you get more in an area and get much straighter cukes that way. Cukes are pretty tender but mature so quickly you could wait until the end of the month to sow and still harvest something for your trouble (but I don’t recommend delay!)
  • Root Vegetables – You will have the best results in very loose open soil and I encourage you to cover your carrot and parsnip seedlings with row cover to prevent the carrot root maggot from destroying your veggies as they do mine with some embarrassing frequency. Mid-June to mid-July is a good time for your main fall/winter sowing of root crops.
  • A last crop of potatoes can also be put in this month if you sow short-season varieties like Yukon Gold.
  • Corn – ASAP.
  • Salad Greens – warm weather lettuces, warm-weather New Zealand spinach, etc. can all be sown. Look for hot-weather adapted lettuces and salad greens. The Romaine-types are generally pretty good. Arugula and mustards bolt rapidly in warm weather and with increasing day length. Rapidly. It’s easiest with these to wait on sowing until a few weeks after the solstice.
  • Swiss Chard – There’s still time to plant Swiss chard for bountiful late summer and fall harvest. If you get it in this month it’ll be big and lush by October.
  • Onions – green onions and overwintering leeks can be sown. Chives and garlic chives can be started in a nursery bed for a harvest next year.
  • Herbs: Chives, parsley, mints, marjoram, oregano, dill, fennel, borage and the like can all be sown out. Cilantro, fennel, dill, and of course basil can all be grown. Plant lots of basil if you haven’t already! Everyone loves pesto.

Transplant Out


All your warm weather transplants are good to go out now. Just be sensitive to where and how your transplant out. Harden your transplants gently if they are coming from a nice cozy greenhouse. Be particularly gentle with eggplant and peppers, giving them a warm microclimate in which to snuggle, heat sinks (like wall-o-waters or big rocks) and extra attention, particularly if night time temps dip, which they still can at this time of year.

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Melons
  • Summer and winter squashes



All the good leafy stuff is ready.

  • Peas and favas – Bush peas are on, pole peas are a few weeks behind. I’m not growing favas this year, but those of you who are are probably harvesting.
  • Lettuce and other salad greens are insane. It’s Salad-Days time.
  • Brassicas – Eating early cabbage, finished up a row of tasty spring kohlrabi, and harvested the earliest broccoli already. The earliest cauliflower and romanesco is ready.
  • Roots – Radishes, baby beets and turnips are awesome this year!
  • Potatoes – Potatoes are volunteering everywhere, do I just dig up the new baby potatoes and we eat them. Nice weed, huh?
  • Strawberries – sweet and delicious!
  • Cherries– my cherries are going nuts. In the best possible way.
  • Herbs of all kind – I’m way behind on basil, but anything perennial or self seeding is running rampant. Bronze fennel for everybody!

What are you doing in the June garden?

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  1. Kyle says

    Well, I’m halfway through my March to-do list. And not for lack of trying!

    I’m going to start some Brussels sprouts but have otherwise decided to quit planting for the year and really dial it in on protecting what is in the ground. For instance, half of my blueberry plants were mulched. The other half weren’t…and…despite being in the ground for two-plus months…. got fried over the weekend.

    From here on out it’s mulch, sluggish, eat eggs, mulch, sluggo, eat eggs, repeat until October.

  2. says

    I envy you your cherry trees. The service berries and red currants in these parts (and the cherries, too) are still firmly on the green side, but they’re ripening a little bit more every day. My strawberries are just starting to set fruit, but my favas and bush peas aren’t even flowering yet (unless they burst into bloom in the past four hours. It could happen).

    I’m still firmly in Cool Weather Greens territory up here. The rappini continues to be amazing, and the kale is getting big enough to harvest. I love the way they shade the soil and help keep the weeds from finding purchase. I’m considering growing them – at least the red russian kale, in the front yard (where the soil is contaminated, and so is very firmly a Non-Food Space) purely for that reason. My Mystery Greens appear to be mustard. Or collards. But I’m going with mustard for the moment.

    I need to spread my tomatoes out a little bit, or I won’t get the benefit of that many tomato plants, I’m sure. My winter squashes aren’t germinating much, but we’ll make do. I’ve got enough seeds to throw a few more waldham butternuts in the ground, and they’re pretty reliable, so. (I do seem to have a couple of zucchinis already on the go, though, so there’s that). My beans have sprouted, but they’re taking their sweet time getting big. (I blame the chilly weather – they need some hot humid days to really get going).

    Fingers crossed that my garden’s good start doesn’t fizzle.


  3. says

    i get it, I get it, ASAP!!! Like I am not white rabbiting enough here……the season is ahead and I am behind. As usual. I am suffering from a gardeners catch 22. I can’t plant my bedding plants out because the beds are not ready and the beds are not ready because I spend too much time in the Greenhouse fiddling with things in pots. Then I catch myself spending half an hour pulling grass from a flower bed. Madness. Need to downsize but am addicted.

  4. Lazy Harp Seal says

    I’m a total noob gardener, but I’m totally fine with planning a season ahead. I remember my mother explaining that she did her Christmas needlepoint and knitting in summer and autumn so that it would be ready *for* Christmas.
    I especially like the pre-season planning because it’s basically a blank slate. Nobody is behind schedule, there’s no rush yet to get stuff in on time. And, in my mind, everything looks great. No seedlings have dampened off, nothing has gotten drought stressed, Plus, I kinda feel like fall/winter harvest crops are way less pressure. No worrying about frost or fruit-set.
    On the top of my must-do’s this autumn is: Saffron Crocus. It might be annoying to harvest, but crocus are pretty fool-proof to grow…. as long as you’re a fool who gets the corms in on time.

  5. says

    OMG, you king of blew my mind with the talk of starting fall vegis now. You’re right of course, but…. Wow. Mind blown. Thanks for the tip. It never would have occurred to me to start seeds this soon and then I’d be buying plants from the nurseries AGAIN.

  6. says

    This is a good tip especially to those neew to the blogosphere.
    Brief but very precise information… Appreciate your sharing this one.

    A must read post!

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