You may be reading the title of this post and thinking “but it’s too late to plant anything now”. Don’t worry, I’ve got lots of ideas for what to plant in June!
Starting off your plants a little later than you intended just means your flowers and crops will be a little later too. Summer may be upon us, but there are still plenty of things to sow, grow and plant this month. If you’re not sure what to plant in June, here are my top picks for flowers, fruit and vegetables.
Flowers to plant in June
Late summer flower seeds
Don’t assume you have to buy everything as a plant rather than a seed if you want it to flower this year. You can direct sow lots of seeds now which will bloom in late summer; Calendula, Candytuft and Nigella are all good options. Nasturtiums are also brilliant to plant now: they germinate really easily, grow quickly, and the flowers are edible too.
It’s not too late to grow sunflowers, and this is a great plant to get the kids involved with. We’re growing Teddy Bear sunflowers again this year, the kids love how fluffy and tactile they are. I’ve got a step-by-step guide to planting and growing sunflowers with children here.
Summer bedding plants
I try not to get too carried away with annual plants (the ones that don’t survive into a second year), because they can cost a lot of money for such a temporary display, but at this time of year a few bedding plants are a great way to fill any gaps in your borders, or provide an instant display of colour in containers.
If you’re using bedding plants in containers, think about mixing some perennial plants in with them. Doing this means you only need to replace the annuals rather than the whole thing once the plants have finished flowering. Try to use good quality compost, and remember to feed your plants with suitable *outdoor plant food. Plants grown in containers will quickly exhaust the nutrients in their soil.
Biennials for next year
By this point in the gardening year, I’ve usually planted out most of the plants I’ve grown from seed. This means there’s a bit of space on the windowsill and in the mini greenhouse. If you’re in the same position, June is a good time to sow biennial flower seeds for next year’s plants.
Biennial plants produce leaves in their first year, and flowers in their second year. Foxgloves, wallflowers, pansies and hollyhocks are all popular biennials. You will need to give these young plants some protection over winter, so if you’re tight on space, try not to get too carried away with the amount of seeds you sow!
Vegetables to plant in June
Pre-grown vegetable plants
If you’ve left it a bit late to grow your veg this year, buying small plants from the garden centre is a good way to catch up on growing time. This will allow you to plant crops that you’d normally need to start growing earlier.
You can usually find a good variety of vegetable plants in the garden centre this month. Tomatoes, peppers, runner beans, carrots, courgette, beetroot and cabbage are all popular crops that are available in trays of small plants. You just need to plant them out when you get them home.
Dwarf french beans
A brilliant choice if you don’t have much space, dwarf french beans are compact plants that produce lots of beans. This is one of those crops worth growing yourself, because it just tastes so much better picked and cooked fresh. French beans freeze well too; last year a small row of plants gave us a huge harvest that kept us going for months.
You can sow dwarf french bean seeds in pots of compost, and plant them out when they reach about 15-20cm tall, or sow them directly into their growing site. You should be able to start harvesting beans around two months after sowing the seeds, which is why this is such a great vegetable to grow if you’re starting a bit late.
Salad is such a speedy grower. Some varieties can be ready for harvesting in as little as two to three weeks. It’s also well-suited to growing in a container, and a nice grow your own project for kids to try – I’ve got a step-by-step guide to doing this here.
Choose a salad variety that you enjoy eating, or go for a packet of mixed seeds to mimic the expensive bags you buy in the shops. Try to sow the seeds little and often, so that you always have some leaves ready to harvest. Remember also to thin your seedlings out if they’re a little crowded. This will really make a difference to the amount of salad you can harvest, as each plant has less competition for the nutrients in the compost.
Carrots need warm soil to germinate, so this is a great time of year to sow seeds. Try to remove as many stones from the soil as you can to avoid split roots, or go for a shorter variety such as *Chantenay.
Carrots will grow well in containers too, so if your soil is poor or you’re tight on space this is a good option. And while you’re sowing seeds, you could have some fun growing fairy carrots in a jar with the kids – magic!
Swiss chard is a pretty, colourful crop to grow. The young leaves are great in salads, and you can use larger leaves in stir fries and soups.
You can plant chard seeds right through into autumn. Sow them in rows 40cm apart, and thin out the plants as they grow, leaving about 25cm between each one. Harvest the leaves little and often and the plants will continue to produce new growth.
Like salad, radish is a very quick-growing crop, so you can plant it right through spring and summer and have a harvest within a few weeks. Sow the seeds directly into the soil, about 1cm deep and in rows 15cm apart. Thin out the seedlings while they are small, leaving 2-4cm between plants. Like salad, this is a good vegetable to plant little and often to provide a continuous crop throughout summer.
Runner beans grow pretty quickly, plant them this month and you’ll be harvesting them in early autumn.
Because runner beans are climbing plants, they will need some support; *garden canes made into a wigwam shape is perfect. The seeds are big so they’re perfect for kids to plant, you can start them off in pots or plant them straight into their growing site. Pinch out the end of the growing shoot when they reach the top of their supports, and harvest the pods when they are still young and tender.
Fast-growing varieties of herb
The warmer temperatures in June allow herb seeds to germinate quickly outdoors, so you can grow a crop of lovely fresh herbs for your cooking in just a few weeks.
Choose varieties that grow quickly, such as coriander, dill and parsley. If you’ve got a really sheltered, sunny spot in the garden, basil is also a good option.
For lots of ideas on creating a herb garden you might like to check out my Pinterest board.
We’re into strawberry harvesting season now, but you should still be able to find strawberry plants in garden centres. Plant them now and you can expect a crop of amazing homegrown strawberries in around eight weeks’ time. If you can get hold of a late season variety such as Florence, so much the better.
If space is tight, strawberries look lovely growing in containers and hanging baskets. This is also an easy way to protect the fruits from slugs and snails.
You can grow broccoli from seed as early as April, but planting seeds in June means you can sow them directly outside. Once your seedlings are growing, thin them out to around 30cm between plants. You can expect to be harvesting your crop about three months after planting.
You will probably need to protect your broccoli plants from slugs and snails; you could try natural methods such as crushed eggshells and beer traps, or go for *metaldehyde-free pellets which have less impact on wildlife and the environment.
Kale is a winter-cropping vegetable, and planting it now will give you a supply of this superfood in the leaner months of the year. You can plant kale seeds this month, or buy it as small plants and plant them out.
If you’re growing kale from seed, start it off in trays and plant out your seedlings when they are nice and sturdy. As the plants grow, remove any flower shoots that form to encourage lots of leaves. You can pick young leaves and add them to salads, but the plants can also be harvested throughout winter for stews and soups.
Will you be growing any of my top picks for what to plant in June? Tell me what you’re growing this month in the comments 🙂