In The Vegetable Garden – June

  • By Cleve Campbell
  • /
  • June 2018 - Vol.4 No. 6
  • /
  • 0 Comments

WOW, what a spring we had in central Virginia. In April we had very little rain, and, well, the month of May just made up for it with a deludge of rainfall. Naturally, a lot of planned planting got pushed out to June. And guess what, June is already a busy month in the vegetable garden — there’s planting, weeding, mulching, harvesting, looking for that little extra space to plunk in that one more pepper or tomato plant. Did I say anything about weeding?

But let’s start with planting. June is a good month for planting beans and squash and plenty of other vegetables. Take a look at the handy-dandy chart below, which was developed using the  Cooperative Extension Publication 426-331 , “Vegetable Planting Guide and Recommended Planting Dates.”

June 1-6 June 7-13
Bush Beans Bush Beans
Pole Beans Pole Beans
Lima beans Lima beans
Wax Beans Wax Beans
Cucumbers Cucumbers
Egg Plant* Egg Plant*
Muskmelons Muskmelons
Okra Okra
Peppers Peppers
Pumpkins Pumpkins
Southern Peas Southern Peas
Sweet Corn Sweet Corn
Summer Squash Summer Squash
Winter Squash Winter Squash
Sweet Potato Sweet Potato
Tomatoes* Tomatoes*
Watermellow Watermellow
June 14-20 June 21-30
Bush Beans Bush Beans
Pole Beans Pole Beans
Lima beans Lima beans
Wax Beans Wax Beans
Cucumbers Cucumbers
Egg Plant* Egg Plant*
Muskmelons Okra
Okra Peppers
Peppers Pumpkins
Pumpkins Southern Peas
Southern Peas Sweet Corn
Sweet Corn Summer Squash
Summer Squash Winter Squash
Winter Squash Tomatoes*
Tomatoes*
Watermellow
* Denotes Transplants
The suggested dates may vary for different areas.

June Tasks

Thin the seedlings of carrots and beets to proper spacing, about 4-5 inches to avoid crowding.

Apply organic mulches such as leaves, straw and clean grass to conserve water, suppress weed germination, and enrich soil as the mulch decays.

Repeat plantings of corn and beans to extend the harvest season.

Monitor soil moisture. As a general rule, vegetables require about an inch of water per week during the growing season. Soaker hoses or drip irrigation make the most efficient use of water during dry spells.

Asparagus –– stop harvesting when spears become thin.

Growing lettuce under a shade screening material will slow bolting and extend the harvest season. Also, try planting bolt-resistant varieties such as Muir, Sierra and Nevada.

Sow new warm-season vegetable seeds after harvesting cool weather crops.

Continue to mound soil up around the potatoes to prevent them from being exposed to the sun and turning green. You can also add a layer of straw or leaf mulch to help control weeds.

Some soils in our area are magnesium deficient, especially those where high-calcium lime has been applied rather than lime containing magnesium (dolomite). “Green” your peppers by giving them a magnesium boost with Epsom salts. This will aid fruit production. Dilute one tablespoon of Epsom salts in a quart of water. Spray the solution on leaves, using a clean household spray bottle. You will notice a difference in the color of the leaves in couple of days.

Tips:

Herbs planted in average soil need no fertilizer. Too much fertilizer may reduce flavor and pungency.

To control earworms on corn plants: apply several drops of mineral oil to the corn silk.

Thin overloaded fruit trees; this will result in larger and better fruit at harvest time.

You may have noticed that your strawberries have a milder favor than normal this year. The problem could be the result of the excessive rainfall we had in May; it could have diluted the flavor of the berries. That heavy rain increased the risk of fungal problems, too. I am experiencing higher than normal loss due to fungal diseases because of the wet weather.

Renovate the strawberry patch after harvest. Mow the rows, thin out excess plants and apply mulch for weed control.

The best time to harvest most herbs is just before flowering, when the leaves contain the maxium essential oils. Cut herbs early on a sunny day.

Sources:

Adapted from the Albemarle/Charlottesville VCE Office, “Monthy Horticulture Tip Sheets,” albemarle.ext.vt.edu/hort-tip-sheets/6-14-veg.pdf ; albemarle.ext.vt.eduhort-tip-sheets/6-14-fruit-nuts.pdfalbemarle.ext.vt.eduhort-tip-sheets/6-14-herbs.pdf

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