As the weather heats up, it’s time to plant sun-loving vegetables in your garden. You may have already started some of your summer favorites like tomatoes and peppers indoors that will now begin to thrive outdoors in the sun and heat.
June is the perfect time to plant vegetables and flowers that need the soil to be consistently above 60 degrees Fahrenheit and prefer temperatures above 75 degrees F. Here are just a few varieties for your summer planting.
Nothing tastes more like summer than sweet fresh cantaloupe or watermelon. June is a great time to plant melons as they prefer soil temps over 60 degrees. Melons need lots of room to grow because some vines can get up to 10 feet long. You can train them up a trellis to save space.
Summer and Winter Squash
Planting summer squash in early June will yield a tasty harvest later in the season and starting your winter squash now will allow you to have a harvest as autumn approaches. Plant summer squash at least 2 feet apart to allow for room to grow and pick your summer squash when young and tender before they become too large and seedy. Winter squash needs a bit more room as its vines can sprawl 10 to 15 feet. You can harvest winter squash when the vines start to wither and turn brown or after the first frost.
Cucumber vines grow fast and produce fruit in no time if you plant in June. Train your cucumber vines up a trellis to save space and make it easier to harvest. Pick your cucumbers when they are small and tender. Harvesting regularly will encourage the plants to keep producing.
June is your last opportunity to plant pumpkins; they need lots of time to grow, so you can harvest them just in time for Halloween. Pumpkin vines also need lots of room to spread (just like other squash), so be sure to take that into account when planting.
Corn is another quick-growing vegetable that thrives in the summer heat. Sweetcorn is always a summer favorite. You’ll want to plant 40 to 50 stalks to provide sweet corn for a family of four. In addition to classic sweetcorn, we offer some dwarf varieties that make great ornamental decorations or can be used for popcorn.
Okra, a native African plant, thrives in the hot days of summer. It will mature in 60 days if planted in areas with daytime temperatures over 80 degrees F. Pick the pods daily, when they are about 3 inches long. This is when they will be the most flavorful and tender. Allowing okra to get too big or mature for too long will result in woody, tough pods. You may also want to wear long sleeves when harvesting okra, as the leaves can cause skin irritation.
Eggplants have no tolerance for cold, so June is the best time to plant these outside. Eggplants need a long growing season, so if you have short summers, start them inside and move outdoors once the weather is consistently above 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Flowers & Herbs
June is also a great time to plant heat-loving flowers and herbs like sunflowers, lavender, and sage. These plants all thrive in the heat of summer.
June isn’t too late to be adding to your garden. The biggest challenges that come with summer planting are keeping plants watered evenly and watching out for pests. Inspect your plants every few days to prevent pests from taking hold and be sure to water your plants at the soil level because wet leaves and vines can lead to fungus and disease. With a little care and lots of summer sun, you’ll be enjoying the bounty of your survival garden in no time!