June Zone 4

What to do in the garden in June in zone 4

  • Store seeds  Unused vegetable and flower seeds should be stored in a cool and dry location for next year.  Put them in an airtight bag or jar and refrigerate or freeze.  Stored seeds may not germinate as easily as fresh ones if storage conditions are not perfect.
  • Plant summer blooming bulbs  Later blooming bulbs and annuals can be planted in June.
  • Deadhead  Remove spent blooms from early flowering shrubs and shrub roses.  Deadheading will improve the appearance of the shrub and encourage faster rebloom.
  • Fertilize flowering shrubs  Apply a liquid or slow release granular fertilizer to spring blooming shrubs after the flowering is complete.
  • Feed annuals  Annuals need regular fertilizing for good bloom production, about every 4 weeks.
  • Heat up the compost  If the compost isn’t ready yet but is not heating up, add green plant material such as grass clippings or fruit and vegetable waste, or add a shovel full of manure.
  • Spray or dig weeds  Weed season is well underway in June, and it is best to control them before they get well established.  Dig weeds when the soil is moist to help remove the entire root system.  Many weeds will re-grow from the tiniest bits of root left behind, especially dandelions.  If not opposed to chemicals, apply liquid selective weed control, such as Weed-B-gone, to lawn weeds.  A pint size spray bottle allows you to minimize the chemicals used by applying only to individual weeds.  Be especially cautious of drift to perennials, shrubs and trees.  The slightest wind can carry the spray a long way, damaging foliage.  Non-selective weed control sprays, such as Round-up, will kill every plant it comes in contact with.  Never use weed chemicals in garden beds, the risk of killing plants is too great.  Pull or dig them when the soil is moist, or regularly hoe the soil to pull up weed seedlings that are not well established.  Weeds in the gardens will use up moisture and nutrients that your plants need.
  • Fertilize early bloomers  Early blooming shrubs may need feeding after the first flush of blooms.  Rhododendrons and Azaleas will need an acid fertilizer now to keep the foliage from yellowing, or work cottonseed meal into the surrounding soil.  Each shrub and perennial has unique feeding requirements, be sure to follow maintenance recommendations for each plant.
  • Apply organic fertilizers  Now that the soil is warm enough to activate microbes, compost, manure, fish emulsions and blood and bone meal may be applied in the gardens.
  • Shape hedges  After a second flush of summer growth, shaped and pruned hedges should be trimmed, usually by the end of June.
  • Check containers and baskets  Container gardens, hanging baskets and window boxes dry out quickly and need frequent watering.  They will also need to be fertilized regularly.
  • Fertilize roses  Hybrid tea roses, grandiflora and floribunda roses, all need to be fertilized about once a month into July.  Timing of applications should correspond to the completion of bloom cycles.  Make sure they are also getting a deep watering each week, about 1 - 1 1/2 inches.
  • Fertilize vegetables  Fertilize the vegetable gardens every few weeks with a liquid fertilizer, less often with slow release and organic fertilizer.  Most herbs need little or no fertilizer if the soil is well enriched.
  • Check for insects  Keep an eye on your plants for insects that may be causing damage.  Do not indiscriminately spray insects, as many are beneficial.  Even those that cause visual damage may not necessarily be harming the plant.  Check with your local garden center or extension service to properly identify and treat for insects.  Routinely spraying them off with a garden hose or applying insecticidal soap is often the best course of action.  Or use a water bottle with a small holed tip on it that will produce a strong stream.   Aphids is a common problem.  Although they generally do not do permanent damage, they can inhibit growth and weaken the plant.



  • Check for disease  Keep an eye on your plants for signs of disease such as wilting, leaf drop, and discolored foliage. Check with your local garden center or extension service to properly identify plant disease and treatment.  It is tempting to water and fertilize if a plant appears weak or diseased, but until the problem is identified it is best to withhold both water and fertilizer.  Many diseases are caused by or accelerated by over watering and poor drainage.  Keep watering to a bare minimum until the problem is identified.
  • Check for slugs  June is sometimes a rainy month and will encourage slugs.  If slugs have eaten holes in the foliage of your shade plants such as hosta, pick out the slugs and dispose of them or apply non-toxic Sluggo.
  • Fill the birdbath  Fill shallow birdbaths frequently.  Deep birdbaths can harbor mosquito larvae so emplty stale water and refill.
  • Evaluate  Make notes in your garden journal frequently.  Record how each plant is doing and the time of year and weather conditions.  Note whether soil seems to dry out too quickly or hold water too long so you can amend the soil next season.  Note areas that are being shaded more by growing trees so you can move perennials as necessary next season.
  • Drink water and wear sunscreen!
calendarSharon Dwyer