05/31/2016 10:02 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Gardener's June To-Do List

by the editors at Rodale's Organic Life

Here's your June gardening guide for North America's USDA Plant Hardiness Zones: 3-10. If you don't know what zone you live in, check the map here to find out. We've left off zones 1-2 (far-north Alaska) and zones 11-13 (small section of the Florida Keys, the Pacific coast between L.A. and Mexico, and Hawaii) since zones 3-10 cover 99 percent or more of the gardeners in the U.S.

Zone 3 Zone 4
  • Early in the month, finish setting out transplants of vegetables and flowers.
  • Plant seeds of warm-weather crops, such as melons and squash.
  • Sow more lettuce so you can keep harvesting leaves, even after the first crop goes to seed.
  • Near month's end, plant cilantro to put in the salsa you'll make later.
  • Stake or cage tomatoes and other veggies and flowers that tend to sprawl.
  • Plant asters and pansies for fall bloom.
  • Spray Bacillis thuringiensis(BT) on brassicas as soon as you spot cabbage moths.
  • Mulch beds as soon as the soil warms up.
Zone 5
  • Stake dahlias and gladiolas when you plant them to keep from damaging their roots later in the season.
  • Pinch back foliage ends of mums, a ½ inch every 2 weeks.
  • Fertilize roses now: To supply potassium, whiz banana peels in a blender, then plop the stuff beneath the mulch around your roses.
  • Harvest daily from asparagus plants in patches at least 3 years old.
  • For autumn harvest, plant bush beans, Brussels sprouts, and late cabbage.
  • Spray tomato plants with compost tea (made by steeping an old pillowcase filled with compost in a bucket of water) to prevent diseases.
Zone 6
  • Place supports for lanky perennials.
  • Pinch back chrysanthemums to keep them bushy--a ½ inch from the growing tips, every 2 weeks until the middle of next month.
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs after they've finished blooming.
  • Cage tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.
  • Replace finished lettuce with okra or a late crop of summer squash.
  • Plant a few more runs of corn, beans, and cucumbers.
  • Plant sweet potato slips early in the month.
  • Inventory seeds for the fall garden.
Zone 7 Zone 8
  • Plant mums, balsam, cockscomb, wax begonias, salvia, dusty miller, blanket flower (Gaillardia ), geraniums, marigolds, verbena, and vinca (Catharanthus roseus).
  • Plant bulbs or tubers of irises, cannas, water lilies, dahlias, and daylilies.
  • Replenish mulches around plants to keep weeds down and conserve moisture.
  • Plant a cover crop in vacant beds.
  • Plant mustard and turnips for harvesting tender baby leaves.
  • Work compost into beds, then plant fall crops of peppers and eggplant.
  • Direct-seed collards and tomatoes for fall harvest.
  • Continue planting cantaloupes, corn, cucumbers, okra, peanuts, southern peas, summer squash, sweet potatoes, and bush beans.
  • Thin fruit trees early in the month; mulch root area with a thin layer of compost, topped with 3 inches of organic mulch.
Zone 9
  • Look for slow-moving bugs in the cool of the morning; hand-pick them, then dust below the plants with Diatomaceous earth (a white powder made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, one-celled algae that have a skeleton made of silicon). Be sure to use a dust mask so you don't inhale the dust.
  • Last chance to plant sweet potato slips and peanuts this season.
  • Continue planting sweet corn in small blocks, every 2 weeks for continuous harvest through fall.
  • Start more zinnias, marigolds, and sunflowers to replenish tired flowers in late summer.
  • Water plants in the morning so they don't become susceptible to fungus and insect infestation.
  • Plant more heat-tolerant veggies: Replace spinach with Swiss chard and potatoes with taro (Colocasia esculenta).
Zone 10
  • Feed fast-growing bananas and summer-flowering perennials, such as hibiscus and ixora, with compost to prepare them for upcoming bloom.
  • Clean up debris beneath mangoes to prevent anthracnose (fungal) disease; for bad infections, spray with copper solution.
  • Prune cassia trees, royal poinciana, bougainvillea, and jasmine after they bloom.
  • Prune tropical fruits after the harvest this month.
  • Kill pests and disease in vacant beds by covering moist soil with clear plastic for several weeks.
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