Today marks the first of June, and while I realize I’ve strayed from the garden a bit over the last weeks, I cannot resist this opportunity to detail some of the plantings you should be sowing into the ground for this month. Read on, for some ideas on what to dirty your hands with in this first of the summer months.
If you haven’t planted beans yet, now is the time to do so (and if you have, what are you doing reading this?! You should be harvesting by now! But you can always plant more once you’ve harvested and pulled the last plants). The trick with June beans, as opposed to their May-time counterparts, is the soil will be warmer and drier with all the added daylight, so you need to sink the seeds an extra inch into the soil–in other words, two inches deep instead of one. In the June heat, you will still likely see seedlings sprouting within a week.
I love beans, can ya tell? June is the first month warm enough to plant lima beans, which need soil temps of at least 65 degrees. Wet and treat lima bean seeds with a nitrogen inoculant before planting, then plant six inches apart, in staggered rows, at the bottom of a flat-bottomed trench roughly 8 inches wide. Similar to bush beans, only put about two inches of soil on top.
I’m jumping the gun on this one as, in my area anyway (towards the middle of the eastern seaboard), it does not get warm enough to plant brussels until halfway through June. That said, there’s nothing wrong with having the seeds bought and ready, and an area staked out. When the time does come, sow them about an inch apart in the most protected area of you garden (a nursery bed, if you have it would be preferable, as you can transplant them from here later when large enough).
If you took my advice and planted some carrots in April, you’re in luck! Its time to harvest what you’ve sown. If you happened to plant any in May, these will now need some thinning to give the best specimens ample room to grow. To do this, pick the smaller of the seedlings until your remaining plants stand about a full inch apart. Finally, after you’ve harvested your April crop, you can plant a third bunch of carrots. As before, use two furrows about six inches apart, covered a half-inch deep in potting soil. Make sure to keep those furrows nice and moist too. That June sun can be deadly.
If you read my Pumpkin Planning article back in the fall, you already knew this one was coming. You have until mid-June to plant your perfect fall pumpkins!! Dig a hole about a foot and a half across, and a foot deep for each hill of pumpkins. Backfill the hole into a mound shape with an equal mixture of soil and compost, but still be sure to mix in a handful of fertilizer. Ensure your holes are at least 10 feet apart from each other (these suckers GROW!), then sow five seeds into each hill in a circle, about five inches between each, and one-inch down. In a week or so, when they’ve germinated, select the best two growths and thin all the rest, otherwise you’re gonna end up with a lotta vines, and absolutely no pumpkins.
That’s all for this time folks. Enjoy that June weather, and happy digging!
A humble homesteader based in an undisclosed location, Lars Drecker splits his time between tending his little slice of self-sustaining heaven, and bothering his neighbors to do his work for him. This is mainly the fault of a debilitating predilection for fishing, hunting, camping and all other things outdoors. When not engaged in any of the above activities, you can normally find him broken down on the side of the road, in some piece of junk he just “fixed-up.”