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Planting Vegetables in June

By Julie Christensen ; Updated September 21, 2017
Bean seeds thrive in the warm June soil.

While most gardeners plant their vegetable gardens between Mother's Day and Memorial Day, there's no reason you can't plant your vegetables in June. If you've had a rainy spring or live in an area with a short growing season, you may have no choice. Many plants, including beans, corn and tomatoes, thrive in the warm soil. Choose short-season varieties that take less time to mature, and grow long-season crops like melons, pumpkins and tomatoes from plants instead of seeds.

Adding compost improves your soil's texture and adds nutrients.

Spread a 1- to 2-inch layer of compost over your garden area. You'll need one 40 lb. bag for each 5-by-5-foot garden area. Cultivate the garden by digging 6 inches into the earth and turning your shovel over, mixing the compost into the soil and breaking up dirt clods as you go. Rake the soil to smooth and level it.

Planting seeds at the right depth improves germination success.

Dig a shallow furrow for your seeds with a hoe. Plant small seeds like carrot and lettuce seeds at a depth of 1/4 inch. Plant medium-sized seeds like cucumber and bean at a depth of 1/2 inch. Plant large seeds like pumpkin and corn at a depth of 1 inch under the soil. Space the seeds according to package directions. Cover the seeds with soil and pat gently with your hands.

Dig small holes for your seedlings and gently squeeze the containers to remove the plants. Place the plants in the holes and firm the soil around them, patting down with your hands.

Water your garden with a fine mist sprinkler for 20 minutes after planting. Thereafter, keep the soil evenly moist and check it daily, especially if the June weather becomes hot and dry.

Cold temperatures slow tomatoes' growth and may even kill them.

Cut the bottoms off gallon-size plastic milk jugs. Rinse the jugs out and place them over young seedlings if the nights remain chilly. If you live in a northern climate or at a high elevation, nighttime protection is especially important. Remove the jugs when nighttime temperatures remain consistently above 65 degrees.

Fertilize your garden when seedlings are 12 inches tall. Spread a slow-release granular fertilizer made for vegetables on the soil around your plants. Lightly hoe the fertilizer into the ground and water the soil for 20 minutes to activate the fertilizer. Don't get fertilizer on the leaves or roots of the plants.


Things You Will Need

  • Compost or manure
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Hoe
  • Seeds and seedlings
  • Hose
  • Plastic milk jugs
  • Slow-release fertilizer made for vegetables


  • Plant lettuce, peas, broccoli and radishes in a somewhat shaded spot, as these crops don't grow well in hot weather. Keep lettuce moist to prevent a bitter taste.
  • Start seeds indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost, or buy young seedlings at a local garden center.
  • Plant a second fall crop of cool-season vegetables like broccoli, kale, lettuce and carrots in July or August.

About the Author


Julie Christensen is a food writer, caterer, and mom-chef. She's the creator of MarmaladeMom.org, dedicated to family fun and delicious food, and released a book titled "More Than Pot Roast: Fast, Fresh Slow Cooker Recipes."