June is heating up the garden for sure. I have to make sure to get any chores done early in the day so we don’t get too hot. Everything is growing and the chores are bustling right along. It’s so much fun to see the fruits of our labor.
Most of the seeds and plants are planted by June. There are a few things you can still plant such as beans, okra and melons. You could even plant pepper and tomato plants now. At Little Sprouts we do some succession planting so we will continue to have things to harvest as the plants such as bush beans get done producing. We usually try to plant beans and squashes every three weeks or so. This gives us a continuous harvest.
Most of the garden work right now is weeding. Everything has been built and filled and planted. Now we just have to keep the Johnson and Bermuda grass from taking over the beds and walkways. We try to pick weeds every day. I try to pick a few weeds in the morning when I have the kids out in the gardens and on the weekends we try to spend a couple of early morning hours picking them. The garden is never totally weed free, but we try to keep up with the bulk of it so our plants will have water, sunlight, and nutrients enough for themselves. Click here to see ways we keep weeds from becoming too overwhelming.
Another thing that’s important to remember in June is water. This year in Oklahoma, we’ve had a crazy wet May and June, but usually we need to water weekly. The garden needs an inch of water per week, so if you’re not seeing any rain, you need to water. Click here to see how we measure our water needs.
June is the time in Oklahoma when the bugs come out in full force. Keep an eye each day on predators that may be invading your garden. Look for signs of damage and hand pick anything that you can see eating your harvests. Squash bugs are appearing, so daily we need to be turning over every squash leaf and looking underneath for eggs. Squash bug eggs are a copper color and are laid in clusters on the undersides of leaves. If you see some, get rid of them.
Squash bug damage
Chew holes in plants
We also hand pick squash bugs and harlequin beetles from our plants and throw them in a bucket of soapy water to kill them. We look for cabbage looper worms and tomato horn worms and do the same with them as well. It’s also time to think about slugs, grasshoppers, and other pests. We sprinkle a bit of diatomaceous earth around to help reduce the populations of slugs. Click here to see how. Since we don’t use sprays in our garden, we have to be vigilant about getting rid of the bag bugs that are crawling around out there. We hope that nature will lend us a helping hand by sending frogs, birds, lizards, spiders, and ladybugs that will eat as many of our bad bugs as they can find.
Squash bug eggs
It’s also a good idea to check often for signs of disease and decide what you want to do to treat it. June brought us a LOT of rain, so we already have some tomato fungus forming. I will need to take all of the effected leaves off and dispose of them to keep this from spreading.
June is full of harvesting. There is plenty to pick in the garden including green beans, peas, cabbage, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, kale, kohlrabi, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, and herbs. At the beginning of June we were still harvesting asparagus, but it’s pretty much done producing now.
June is hot for working in the garden but with the glut of delightful produce, it’s one of the most exciting times. So far this month we have harvested over 82 pounds of tasty goodness and are looking forward to harvesting more. We love our garden!