17 Vegetables to Plant in June (2024)

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June is not too late to plant vegetables! There is a common misconception in gardening that spring is the only time for planting. Many believe that if you miss the spring wave of planting, you might as well wait until next year. But this is far from the truth!

Epic gardeners and vegetable farmers plant almost continuously throughout the growing season. While spring is an important window for establishing long-season crops, the warming weather of June offers ample time for direct sowing of summer crops as well as extra successions of your favorite plants.

In the north, this is a crucial time for starting frost-tender veggies. In the South, you can prepare for a sweltering summer with heat-tolerant varieties. You may even prepare some long-season crops for a late summer or early fall harvest. Let’s dig into the best 17 vegetables to sow in June based on your climate!

17 Vegetables to Plant in June (1)

What Can You Plant in June?

17 Vegetables to Plant in June (5)

June’s frost-free weather is perfect for direct seeding tender crops like melons, cucumbers, squash, beans, sunflowers, and corn. These seeds thrive when planted straight into the garden. You can also transplant tender seedlings like tomatoes, zucchini, and eggplant.

Zones 3-7 can plant carrots, beets, radishes, and brassicas for summer harvests. You may wish to add multiple successions of your favorite crops, like baby greens, basil, and cilantro, which can be sown every few weeks. Zones 8-10 should shift away from cool-weather crops and focus on heat-tolerant plants like okra, eggplant, sweet potatoes, and collard greens. You can also establish cut flowers, perennials, and onions.

Hot-climate gardeners should avoid planting peas, kale, lettuce, spinach, and arugula in June. These plants are very sensitive to heat and may fail to germinate or produce a quality crop.

Remember: Planting is not a one-and-done deal! If you want a continuous supply of fresh vegetables, it’s best to practice succession sowing. This means planting several rounds of each crop throughout the season. By staggering the plantings, you ensure that new crops are available as soon as older beds dwindle.

17 Vegetables to Plant in June

When the cold spring nights and risk of frosts have long passed, June brings long, sunny days in most climates. You can plant a range of warm-weather crops throughout this month as long as you understand their lifecycle. Always check the days to maturity before planting. Many warm-season crops eagerly germinate directly in the garden and mature in just a couple of months, making them perfect for June sowing.

In areas with shorter growing seasons, choose quick-maturing varieties to ensure a sufficient harvest by late summer and early fall. Warmer growing zones should focus on bolt-resistant and heat-tolerant varieties and consider using shade cloth to protect some plants from sweltering days.

Here are 17 veggies you don’t want to skip this June:

Melons

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From juicy watermelons to cantaloupes to ultra-sweet musk melons, this quintessential summer crop belongs in every garden. Melons are members of the Cucurbit (cucumber and squash) family. They are sensitive to transplanting and tend to do best when directly sown in the garden. I once did an experiment with transplanted versus direct-seeded melons.

Even though the transplanted seedlings had a two to three week head start indoors, the direct-seeded plants quickly reached the same size. This likely happened because melons have sensitive taproots that usually undergo a bit of transplant shock. No matter how careful I was with planting, the seeds that were established in the bed were able to skip the shock window. Moral of the story? I only direct sow melons now because it’s easier and they are more successful.

Mini watermelons like ‘Sugar Baby’ and French muskmelons like ‘Charentais’ are the best picks for small space growers. If you want to maximize yields in raised beds, consider trellising your melons. Create a sturdy support with T-posts and cattle panels. Larger fruiting varieties are typically too heavy for a trellis. You can train the vines to ramble along the border of the garden.

Straw mulch is very useful for keeping the fruits clean and rot-free. Do not skimp on water! Melons are thirsty crops.

Zucchini

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Another Cucurbit family member, zucchini is the perfect summer squash for June. These fast-growing plants germinate easily in warm soil. The taproots are sensitive to transplanting, so direct seeding in warm soils around 70°F (21°C) is ideal. Their vigorous growth and consistent flower production ensure a continuous supply of tender fruits.

Most zucchini varieties mature in just 50-60 days, which means a June planting will start yielding around late July. If you forgot to start zucchini indoors, rest assured that direct seeding in June will still provide plentiful harvests.

Zucchini grows best in rich, well-drained soil. The bushy plants grow up to four feet wide and should be spaced accordingly. Just a few plants can yield tremendous amounts of zucchini, so there is no need to take up a ton of space. Ensure that bees have plenty of access to the big yellow blossoms. Harvest the fruits at six to eight inches long for the most tender skins and best flavor. Oversized zucchini can become bitter and tough.

Corn

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Summer barbeques are incomplete without sweet corn. This grass family crop is eager to take off growing in June. While northern growers often start indoors for an earlier harvest, direct sowing the seeds in warm soils provides equally plentiful cobs.

Corn is wind-pollinated and needs to be planted in blocks. You can grow corn in raised beds or in the ground as long as you plant at least ten seeds and space them 10-12” apart. Remember that each corn stalk only yields one ear of corn, so larger plantings are needed for big parties or preservation.

Plant seeds two to three inches deep, or about twice the largest dimension of the seed kernel. Ideally, the soil should be 70 to 80°F (21-27°C) and very loamy. This shallow-rooted plant needs plenty of moisture and benefits from a layer of mulch to protect the soil from drying out.

If you are growing multiple varieties, ensure 250+ feet of space between them to prevent cross-pollination. In small-space gardens, you can avoid cross-pollination by staggering the planting dates. This means that one variety of corn should be planted several weeks before the next variety. They will develop their tassels (pollen) at different times so they don’t cross-pollinate each other.

Cucumbers

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From pickles to slicers to Armenian cucumbers to ‘Cucamelons,’ this veggie offers an impressive diversity of shapes and sizes. Unlike corn, you can get away with growing several cultivars without as much risk of cross-pollination. Cucumber vines are one of the best summer crops because you can plant them once and harvest fruits for many months. June is perfect for establishing cuke vines that will fruit until the first fall frosts.

Like most Cucurbit family crops, cucumbers prefer to be directly sown in your garden beds. Transplanting is not worth the fuss, as the taproots of the plants are ultra-tender. Wilting, yellowing, and stunted growth are common symptoms of transplant shock. It’s much easier to wait until the soil is 70-90°F (21-32°C) – usually around June – and sow cucumber seeds outdoors.

Seeds should be planted about 1⁄4” deep and kept consistently moist. Trellising is recommended to keep the fruit clean and pretty. It also saves a lot of space. These vines love to ramble upwards and will use their curly-q tendrils to cling to any trellis you provide. An A-frame with strong twine is a great option since the plants don’t get as heavy as melons or tomatoes.

Sunflowers

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A classic summer flower, sunflowers demand hot weather. Once established, they are drought-tolerant and ready to bloom for the duration of the summer. If you want to harvest sunflower seeds for eating, choose a giant variety like ‘Mammoth.’ For smaller ornamental displays, try a dwarf variety like ‘Elves Blend.’ Sunflowers grown as cut flowers for bouquets and arrangements are often pollen-less, which is less desirable for bees but more desirable for kitchen tables because the yellow pollen won’t make a huge mess.

Sunflowers are not fussy about soil and can grow almost anywhere. Save your nicest beds for your veggies and plant these drought-tolerant flowers along borders and fence lines. Keep the tallest varieties on the north side of the garden so they don’t shade out your sun-loving crops. If you want continuous blooms, seed every month throughout the summer. The seeds can be planted ¼” to ½” deep and usually emerge within 10-15 days. They are fast-growing, and you can expect flowers within 10 weeks of planting.

Pumpkins

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You don’t want to miss out on fall pumpkins! From giant Jack-O-Lanterns to flavorful pie pumpkins, most varieties are grown in the same way. You need at least four to six square feet of space per pumpkin plant. The vines can ramble and spread as long as 30 feet, so you must ensure your pumpkins don’t choke out your other garden crops.

This squash family member is very nutrient and water-demanding. Rich soil and consistent irrigation are essential. It’s very advantageous to water from the root zone and avoid overhead sprinklers. Wet leaves and pumpkins invite all sorts of fungal diseases to take hold. Mulch is helpful for conserving moisture and suppressing weeds, but the ultra large leaves also do a great job at shading out competitors.

Pumpkins can take 90 to 120 days to mature, so direct sowing in early June is ideal. Plant seeds twice as deep as their largest dimension. Be sure that the seeds are tucked into the soil and thoroughly moistened until emergence in 7-14 days. Always thin out pumpkin seedlings to prevent overcrowding.

The squash are usually ready to harvest a few weeks before the first fall frost when the foliage has dried and the skins are thickened. Leave three to four inches of stem on each pumpkin, and do not carry them by the stem. Cure the pumpkins in a warm, sunny, dry area with good air circulation for one to two weeks. Curing will concentrate the sugars and thicken the skins for storage.

Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet potatoes are a southern staple vegetable that can be planted as late as June or July in warm areas. These plants are some of the most heat-resilient garden members, which is why many southern farmers harvest the edible greens for midsummer salads when it becomes too hot to grow lettuce.

This crop demands warm soil and it’s often recommended to wait to plant until at least one month after your last spring frost date. Sweet potatoes are grown from slips rather than seeds. The slips are small pieces of stem (tuber) that develop their own leaves and roots, similar to seed potatoes.

Plant sweet potato slips in furrows two to three inches deep with at least two sets of leaves above ground. The plants need two to three feet of space to allow the sprawling vines to reach their fullest potential. Wider spacing typically yields larger sweet potato tubers, so don’t try to cram too many plants in one place. Provide lots of water during establishment so the soil is consistently moist but never soggy. Growing on 8-12” soil mounds or in raised beds ensures proper drainage.

Sweet potatoes take 85 to 120 days to mature. The best way to know if they’re ready is to dig up a tuber and check the size. Dig up a plant in late summer or early fall and determine if the sweet potatoes are the right size for you. Make sure you harvest at least two weeks before the first fall frost. Cure the tubers just like pumpkins or squash, in a warm, humid area with lots of air circulation.

Basil

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This warm-weather herb is eager to thrive from a June planting. Many gardeners start basil indoors in the early spring, but this is not necessary for a long harvest. In fact, a June planting may offer a prolonged harvest of basil leaves while earlier basil plants begin to bolt.

Basil is a frost-sensitive annual that can be direct sown or transplanted in June. The tiny seeds should only be planted ¼” deep and dusted with soil. When seeds germinate in 5-10 days, thin them to 12” spacing. Basil also thrives in containers and planter boxes. Regularly pinch the tips when harvesting the leaves to encourage bushier growth and prevent bolting.

There are many unique varieties to try, including ‘Tulsi Holy Basil,’ classic ‘Italian Genovese,’ and ‘Lemon Basil.’ Most types are grown in the same way with full sunshine, compost-rich soil, and consistent irrigation. Basil makes a great companion for tomatoes because the dappled shade helps prevent premature flowering. Fortunately, the plants are still highly beneficial after bolting. The flowers are edible and flavorful, plus they magnetize pollinators and predatory insects.

Eggplant

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Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to plant all your eggplants in early spring. While their long-season pepper cousins should be in the ground by June, eggplants mature more quickly and can still be sown in the 6th month. ‘Jewel Amethyst’ is particularly suitable for midseason planting because it matures the adorable two to four inch diameter shiny globes in just 80 days.

Eggplants love full sunshine, consistent water, and compost-rich soil. They pair well with peppers and tomatoes as long as they don’t get shaded out. The stout, fuzzy plants need nighttime air temperatures consistently above 60°F (16°C) to reach their best potential. Provide at least 18-36” of space between plants.

Tomatoes

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This favorite summer crop is usually a keystone on lists about what to plant in early spring. It is true that an early start to tomato growing ensures a longer harvest window. However, tomatoes can still be sown or transplanted in June for abundant summer harvests. Northern growers may just now have the chance to put tomatoes outside without protection. Southern growers can even direct-seed tomatoes!

A tomato plant is the gift that keeps on giving. You can plant it once and harvest the fruits until the first fall frosts. Indeterminate varieties are best for continuous harvests throughout the summer. These long vines require trellising and pruning to perform their best. On the flip side, determinate (bush) varieties are best for big harvests that mature all at once. Bush tomatoes include paste and sauce varieties like ‘Supremo Roma‘, perfect for canning.

If you’re planting tomatoes in June, it is best to source established seedlings to ensure the quickest harvest. But you don’t want the transplants to be rootbound or overmature. If a plant is already flowering or fruiting in its pot, it is best left at the nursery. Vigorous young seedlings with lots of green growth are best for transplanting; however, you can always prune away premature flowers to support quicker establishment.

T-post and cattle panel trellises are great for indeterminate, while tomato cages and Florida weave systems are ideal for determinate. Plant with at least 24-36” apart and companion plants like marigolds or white alyssum to attract plenty of pollinators.

Beans

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Green beans are often correlated with fall harvest meals, but they actually thrive best in the warm weather of summer. June is the perfect time to direct sow bean seeds and watch them quickly proliferate into mature plants. Green bean lovers should seed every two to three weeks throughout the summer to ensure a regular supply for grilling, casseroles, and canning.

Green beans need soil temperatures of at least 70-85°F (21-29°C) to germinate. Bush varieties should be planted one inch deep at a spacing of four inches between plants and 24” between rows. Pole beans can be sown closer and trellised up a fence or twine trellis. Harvest the fresh pods when they “snap” or break in half cleanly, usually when they’re about pencil-thickness. If you leave the pods on the plant too long, they will begin to dry and harden, which yields cooking beans.

In areas with sweltering summers, green beans stop producing once temperatures are regularly above 90°F (32°C). You may need to skip a month or so of planting and resume bean successions in late summer to ensure abundant autumn harvests.

Tomatillo

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Also called husk tomatoes, tomatillos are a summer-loving crop related to tomatoes. The unique green fruits at first look like little lanterns dangling from the plants. Tomatillos are most commonly used in salsa verde, but they also make excellent additions to chicken soup, pozole verde, and meat dishes.

Like their nightshade cousins, tomatillos demand warm weather. This Latin American crop thrives in the heat of summer and tolerates sweltering temperatures even better than tomatoes. Planting in June offers harvests as soon as early August. The plants don’t mind the intense sunshine and heat of the Deep South. The fruits get sweeter as they ripen and burst through the husks.

Spice things up with an attractive purple tomatillo rich in antioxidants and eye-catching flavor. Remember to grow at least two plants to ensure proper pollination. Companion flowers like calendula, basil, and sweet alyssum will attract extra bees to the area.

Ground Cherries

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Sometimes called cape gooseberries, ground cherries are close relatives of tomatillos. They have a more tropical flavor and smaller stature perfect for snacking right off the vine. The tart, sweet flavor is reminiscent of pineapple and tastes delicious in jams, pies, salsas, and fruit salads.

They are called ground cherries because they ramble along the ground. You only need a few plants to produce an incredible amount of ½” snack-worthy yellow cherries. In most climates, it is safe to direct sow this resilient crop in June. The plants savor the warm weather and appreciate consistent moisture. The fruit is ready to harvest when it falls to the ground and turns a warm, golden-yellow hue. Peel back the husks and enjoy!

Be sure to keep ground cherries in their own area, as they can self-sow prolifically if too many fruits are left on the ground.

Malabar Spinach

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Spinach is a classic cold-hardy green that despises the heat. Planting regular spinach in June is a bad idea because the seeds don’t germinate in hot soils, and the plants quickly bolt when under heat stress. But if you love the flavor, nutrition, and texture of spinach, you can grow something very similar in the summer—Malabar spinach!

This plant is not a true spinach, but it tastes very similar when cooked. Malabar spinach originates in Asia and grows as a vine in tropical climates. It doesn’t mind the heat and doesn’t turn bitter in summer weather. The plants are perennial in frost-free climates but grow great as annuals in any region with seasonal frosts.

Seed Malabar spinach in June in a bed with full sun and consistent moisture. The vine prefers weather around 80-90°F (27-32°C) and will not do well with cold nights. A trellis is ideal for training the plants vertically, or you can let them sprawl as ground cover. Harvest young leaves as baby greens or let them mature for use in heartier dishes. Regular moisture is essential because dryness will cause the leaves to turn tough and bitter.

Beets

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As one of the few bolt-resistant root vegetables, beets are safe to sow in June. Candy-cane striped ‘Chioggia’ and gorgeous ‘Golden’ beets add a striking, flavorful medley to summer salads.

Direct seed a ‘Gourmet Blend’ of beets in the garden for delicious root harvests in mid-summer. The seeds should be planted ½” deep and thinned to one plant every four inches. Beet seeds are multigerm, which means each seed will germinate into clusters of plants. Thinning is important to prevent overcrowding.

Ensure tender, sweet beets by harvesting when the roots are still small. Beets about the size of a golf ball are my personal favorite. You can plant several rounds of this crop every few weeks to harvest throughout late summer and fall. The greens are also edible and highly resistant to bolting in summer heat as long as they have sufficient moisture.

Chard

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Beet’s leafy cousin, chard is another heat-tolerant green that is perfect for summer. The rainbow stems and nutrient-dense foliage taste delicious fresh or cooked. Like many vegetables on this list, chard is a crop that you can plant once and harvest continuously. As you peel back the larger outer leaves, it will keep producing more foliage all summer long.

The roots of chard are very similar to beets and don’t reach very deep in the ground. Consistent moisture and mulch are important for tender leaf harvests. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses are ideal for delivering water straight at the base rather than from above, as the leaves are prone to powdery mildew.

For full-size plants, space chard at least 12” apart. You can also seed chard at two to three- inch spacing for cut-and-come-again baby green harvests.

Collard Greens

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Collards are a staple in the South for a reason! This heat-tolerant green is one of the last ones standing on sweltering summer days. June plantings of collard greens are sure to thrive all summer, offering an underappreciated alternative for kale in many dishes. Better yet, try using collard leaves as a refreshing wrap substitute.

This Brassica family member stands out from its cold-weather cousins because it doesn’t mind high temperatures. The cabbage-like leaves have a blue-green hue and can be snapped from the plant as needed. New leaves will continue to grow from the center. If direct seeding, ensure that soil temperatures are at least 75-85°F (24-29°C). Protect young plants from flea beetles and other pests by using a lightweight row cover or insect netting.

Final Thoughts

June is not too late to plant! In fact, June-sown plants are often easier to tend because you don’t have to worry about late frosts or transplanting. If your springs are too busy for gardening, rest assured that there is plenty of time to get summer crops in the ground.

17 Vegetables to Plant in June (2024)
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