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June Gardening Tips: The Best Things to Do Right Now


June is a busy month for gardeners.

There’s so much to do in the garden, from planting vegetables and flowers to weeding and watering.

It can be tough to know where to start…

That’s why I’ve put together this handy guide to what you should do in your garden this month.

I cover everything from landscaping and lawn care tips to how to harvest rhubarb!

Keep reading for my top tips on how to make the most of your time in your garden this June…

BONUS: As a bonus for joining my weekly newsletter, download a free June gardening checklist. It’s everything you need to do in June!

This post may contain affiliate links which means I’ll get a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking one of my links. I only link to products I use and recommend.

pretty summer garden landscaping
Now is the perfect time to get your garden ready for summer.

June landscaping tips

  • Weed! Control weeds when they’re young. They’re easier to pull when they’re young. See: how to weed a garden quickly.
  • To minimize fungal diseases, water with overhead irrigation early enough in the day to allow the foliage to dry before nightfall.
  • Watch plants for early signs of disease or infestation. Look for deformed plant leaves, spots, webbing, or yellowing of leaves.
  • Deter diseases from spreading by removing infected parts or entire plants; spray or dust with fungicide, if necessary.

Download my FREE gardening checklist for June as a bonus for joining my newsletter.

  • Finish pruning spring-flowering shrubs and trees by the end of the month.
  • If borers are a problem, spray for borer control on hardwood trees.
  • Lightly prune evergreens, such as boxwood or yew, after the new growth fills in to maintain a formal shape.
  • Monitor plants, especially the succulent new growth, for insects. Identify garden pests before you attempt to control them. Be cautious applying chemical treatments if ladybugs or other predator insects are present.
gardener holding a handful of fertilizer
Fertilize trees and shrubs that need fertilizer before July 4th.
  • Mite activity often increases in hot summer weather. Symptoms include stippled foliage (which can be removed from the plant). Refrain from applying chemical miticides. They can kill beneficial mites and counterintuitively increase mite populations.
  • Heavy rains encourage slug problems. Check for slugs during rainy periods, and handpick the pests.
  • Add to, aerate, and water your compost pile to speed decomposition.
  • Keep new plantings well-watered. Regular watering is important to help new plants establish well.

Tips for your June flower garden

  • Prune or thin plants surrounding newly transplanted perennials keep them from taking over their neighbors.
  • Tie annual and perennial vines to their supports as they put on new growth.
  • Place linking and single stakes to support taller flowers if not already done.
  • Prop up any stray branches off of neighboring plants, if needed.
  • Cut back spring-flowering perennials, especially any that may be flopping over.

Make getting the right things done this month simple. Download my FREE gardening checklist.

  • Deadhead any messy-looking bulbs when the blooms fade but continue to leave bulb foliage intact until it yellows and browns.
  • Japanese beetles are the problem insect for the month. Traps don’t reduce the population of beetles if they’re well established where you live. They draw more beetles to your yard than would otherwise be there.
  • Mulch around perennials. Be sure to leave 2 to 3 inches around the base of the plant free of mulch to prevent rotting.
small shrubs surrounded by wood mulch
Top off any areas of mulch that have thinned.
  • Cut back summer flowering plants, including Echinacea, Heliopsis, Phlox, Platycodon, and Veronica, to extend their flowering time or create staggered or delayed flowering.
  • Deadhead, deadhead, deadhead!! Deadheading will extend the bloom time of many perennials and warm-season annuals and reduce re-seeding.
  • Pinch or cut back Autumn-flowering plants for height control. This is also the time to thin and shape them.
  • Tall, floppy plants such as chrysanthemums, asters, and tall sedums can be cut back by half to maintain a proper height.

Watch a video from Tanya Visser’s channel about deadheading:

How to deadhead spent flowers
  • Deadheading delphiniums after they blossom will encourage fall bloom.
  • Pinch off terminal growth buds on rhododendrons to increase next year’s buds.
  • Dead-leaf spent spring-flowering perennials such as Columbine and heuchera.
  • Deadhead hybrid tea roses as soon as flowers fade. Many shrub roses are self-cleaning and don’t require deadheading. Lightly prune old blossoms to keep your plants looking attractive when in doubt.
  • The leaves of some summer bloomers, like daylilies (Hemerocallis ), tall bearded iris, and summer-flowering bulbs, may begin to yellow. Remove any declining foliage.
  • Near the end of the month, hardy geraniums should be deadheaded or sheared back, depending on the foliage’s condition.
  • Fertilize annual flowers grown in pots. Fertilize about every two weeks.
colorful container garden
Water the soil in your pots before fertilizing to avoid burning the roots.
  • Move self-sown annual flowers and perennials to desired locations this month.
  • Cut flowers for fresh arrangements and for drying. For fresh flower arrangements, recut the stems again just before placing them in water. Add a floral preservative, and change the solution frequently.
  • Spray roses with a fungicide to prevent black spot disease.
  • Monitor for plant bugs and mildew on phlox and treat at the earliest signs to reduce ongoing problems.

Related: What flowers to plant in June

June garden jobs in your vegetable garden

  • Keep summer vegetables evenly moist. Water transplants every day (by you or by rain) until they’re well established.
  • Thin seedlings to proper spacing before the plants crowd each other.
  • Mulch and hill up your potatoes.
  • When cucumber and squash vines start to ‘run,’ begin spray treatments to control cucumber beetles and squash vine borers.
  • Stop harvesting asparagus when the spears become thin. Cut spears up to 3/8 inch in diameter and 6 to 8 inches tall. Thinner spears should be left to grow into ferns. Set stakes at the corners of the asparagus bed and tie twine around them to hold the ferny plants upright. If ferns are allowed to fall over, the crowns may be damaged. Allow the fronds to form for the rest of the growing season. Don’t cut back the foliage until it’s completely brown.
  • Prevent squash vine borers. Cover small transplants of squash, cucumbers, and zucchini with row cover to prevent moths from laying eggs on vines. Remove row covers when plants begin to flower. Consider planting resistant varieties next year.

Garden Insect Netting Fine Mesh: Cicada Tree Net 10' X 30' Row Cover for Plant Vegetable Butterfly Flower Fruit Silver

  • Discontinue harvesting rhubarb around mid-June to allow foliage to develop and store food reserves for next year’s harvest. Fertilize and water when dry to promote healthy growth.
  • Pinch top-growth of herbs to encourage branching and keep them from flowering. The best time to harvest most herbs is right before flowering when the leaves contain the maximum essential oils.
  • Stake or cage your tomato plants, peppers, and eggplants if you didn’t do so last month.
  • For staked tomatoes, remove suckers (branches that form where the leaf joins the stem) while they are 1 to 1.5 inches long to allow easier training. If you live in an area where the sun is intense, don’t allow the tomatoes to get sun scalded by pruning the plants too much.
  • Remove and destroy any vegetable leaves that show signs of early blight.
  • Mulch your vegetable garden with straw to retain moisture.

Get a printable list of what to do in your garden this month: Download my free June checklist.

  • Blanch (exclude light from) cauliflower when heads are just 2 inches in diameter. Tie leaves up and over the developing head.
  • In most cases, blossom-end rot on tomatoes, peppers, squash, and watermelons can be prevented with proper watering. Maintain uniform soil moisture by mulching and watering correctly.

Fruit garden tasks

  • Remove flowers from newly planted strawberries.
  • Oriental fruit moths emerge. They are most serious on peaches, where the first generation attacks growing tips. Wilted shoots should be pruned out.

Keep new plantings well-watered. Regular watering is important to help new plants establish well.

  • Renovate strawberries after harvest. Mow the rows; thin out excess plants; remove weeds; fertilize and apply mulch for weed control.
  • Begin control for apple maggot flies. Red painted balls that have been coated with tanglefoot may be hung in apple trees to trap egg-laying females.
  • Spray trunks of peach trees and other stone fruits for peachtree borers. And spray to control peach twig borer in peaches, nectarines, and apricot trees.
  • Prune and train young fruit trees to eliminate poorly positioned branches and establish proper crotch angles.

Take the guesswork out of what to do in your garden this month. Get my FREE Smart Gardening Checklist for June.

  • Thin your fruit trees. Most fruit should be spaced 6 to 8 inches apart on a branch. Prop up overly-heavy branches to avoid breakage.
  • Treat for powdery mildew on apples beginning when leaves are emerging (at 1/2 inch green) until June.
  • Watch for insect pests in raspberries from mid-May thru early June.

Related: What vegetables to plant in June

Lawn care in June

  • Lawns maintained at the correct height are less likely to have disease and weed infestation. Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue should be mowed at two or three inches in height. Mow frequently, removing no more than one-third of the blades.
  • Established turf requires approximately 1 inch of water per week to keep grass green and actively growing. Watering early in the morning will decrease the chances of developing a turf disease.
  • Change the way you water your lawn. Let your grass and soil condition be your guide to irrigation, not the cycle on your watering system or the number of days since the last watering. Use a screwdriver to probe the soil. If the probe is moist when pulled from the soil or if it’s easy to push to a depth of three to four inches, the lawn probably doesn’t need watering.
lawn sprinkler watering turf
To stop your lawn from going dormant when the weather gets hot, provide additional water during dry spells.
  • Monitor your lawn for damaging turfgrass insects. In areas previously damaged, consider a preventative (systemic) insecticide.
  • Apply a second application of pre-emergent herbicides in late May to early June to control annual weeds in the lawn (crabgrass, spurge, etc.)
  • Avoid fertilizing your lawn in hot weather if possible. The best time to fertilize is fall. The second best is spring.
  • Protect all trees planted in turf by mulching with wood chips. This protects them from mower and weed eater damage. But no volcano mulching! (meaning don’t pile thick mulch up against trunks). A depth of two to three inches is plenty, starting several inches away from the trunk.
  • If left un-watered, cool-season lawns will turn brown (become dormant) during extended hot, dry spells. But they’ll green up again when conditions are favorable.

Related: Books on lawn care

Garden planning and journaling in June

  • Prepare a landscape plan for planting trees and shrubs this fall.
  • Assess areas of your garden that may need new or replacement plantings.
  • Start a gardening notebook. Plan future plantings based on what’s worked in your garden. Pay special attention to those plants that withstand harsh conditions and do well in your garden’s microclimates.
  • Start noting how much you’re harvesting. Use those notes to decide which varieties to grow again next year. You can get harvest logs here.
  • Celebrate the summer solstice this month by taking photos of your garden. June is a peak month for perennial borders.
  • Inventory your seeds for your fall vegetable garden.

Wildlife in your June garden

  • Apply deer and rabbit repellents. Re-apply after it rains.
  • Bats are effective at controlling insects. One big brown bat can eat 3,000 to 7,000 flying insects each night. Attract bats by building and placing bat houses in your yard.
small bird perched on a flower in a June garden
Attract birds to your yard to control insects naturally.
  • Control insects by handpicking and encouraging natural predators (beneficial insects or birds) to visit your yard.
  • Plant dill or fennel to attract swallowtail butterflies to lay their eggs. Watch for tiny eggs to develop into plump caterpillars that feed on the herb foliage before pupating into butterflies.
  • Keep your hummingbird and oriole feeders clean and filled with fresh food. Sugar water goes bad quickly in hot weather! Plan to change the food every 2-3 days. Sooner if the feeder is in the direct sun.
  • Record hummingbird activity and sightings.
  • Report monarch butterfly sightings to Journey North.
  • Report insect pests to The Big Bug Hunt. They’re creating a predictive system to send alerts when pests are headed your way.

Caring for your houseplants in June

houseplant rooting in a clear jar
Root some houseplant cuttings this month to increase your indoor garden or share with friends.
  • When night temperatures stay above 50 degrees, bring houseplants outdoors for the summer. Indoor plants moved outside for the summer are susceptible to scorch and sunburn. Most houseplants brought outside prefer a bright spot shaded from the afternoon sun. Acclimate your plants gradually to avoid setting them back.
  • Indoor plants will require more frequent watering and fertilizing as they increase their summer growth. Fertilize monthly.

Download your free June gardening checklist

Join my weekly-ish newsletter, and as a bonus, you’ll get a printable monthly checklist! Click here to download and subscribe.

Here’s a sneak peek of your checklist:

monthly garden checklist

Download the June gardening to-do list now. You’ll be sure to get the right things done in your garden every June!

More monthly gardening tips:

Your turn: what to do in the garden in June

Did I miss any important June garden chores?

Let me know in a comment below!

Cheryl Spencer, certified gardener

Hi, I’m Cheryl.
I’m a certified gardener, bird lover, and spreadsheet enthusiast. I believe you can grow your dream garden and still have time to enjoy it. I teach online gardening courses and write articles that help you save time and money in your garden. Join my mailing list, and as a bonus, you’ll get a helpful checklist that’ll tell you what to do in your garden right now.

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