Vegetable gardening zone 5

How To Grow Potatoes: When To Plant Potatoes

Growing potatoes in your garden can be lots of fun. With the variety of types and colors available, planting potatoes can add interest to your garden. Learn how to grow potatoes and when to plant potatoes in your yard with these simple steps.

When to Plant Potatoes

When growing potato plants (Solanum tuberosum), it is important to keep in mind that potatoes are cool weather vegetables. The best time when to plant potatoes is in early spring. Planting potatoes two to three weeks before your last frost date will produce the most satisfactory results.

How to Grow Potatoes

A growing potato is an undemanding plant. They need very little other than mild temperatures and soil, which is why they have been a historic food staple.

Planting potatoes normally starts with a seed potato. Seed potatoes can be prepared for planting by either planting whole or cutting up the seed so that there are one or two buds or “eyes” on each piece.

There are many ways used for planting potatoes:

Straight in the ground – Farming operations and large plantings of potatoes are normally planted this way. This method for growing potatoes means that seed potatoes are planted 1 inch under the soil. As the growing potato plants get larger, the soil is mounded up around the plants.

Tires – Many gardeners have been growing potatoes in tires for years. Fill a tire with soil and plant your seed potatoes. As the growing potato plants get larger, stack additional tires on top of the original and fill those with soil.

Straw– Growing potatoes in straw may seem unusual but it is very effective. Lay out a loose layer of straw and put the seed potatoes in the straw. When you see the growing potato plants, cover them with additional straw.

Harvesting Potatoes

Much like when to plant potatoes, the best time to harvest potatoes is when the weather is cool. Wait until the foliage on the plants has died back completely in the fall. Once the foliage is dead, dig the roots up. Your growing potatoes should be full sized and scattered through the soil.

Once the potatoes have been dug up from the soil, allow them to air dry in a cool, dry place before storing them.

There’s something very satisfying about being able to eat food from your garden when the weather outside is dreary and cold. And there’s nothing quite like freshly-harvested new potatoes for Christmas dinner.

How to Have Freshly-Dug Potatoes for Christmas

I’m not an expert gardener, so I’m not sure how to grow Christmas potatoes in other areas of the country, but in most of the growing zones 6 and 7 (Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, etc.) and maybe even as far as zone 5 (Michigan, southern Wisconsin, and Iowa), the process for planting a second crop of potatoes is much the same as with spring potatoes.

The obvious obstacle to growing potatoes in autumn is cold and frost. While cool weather won’t hurt potatoes, a heavy frost will kill the plants and thus stop tuber growth.

The solution is to plant your second-crop potatoes early enough so that the tubers are formed before the plants are killed by the cold. I usually plant my seed potatoes in early August.

I also plant an early variety (like Yukon Gold or Caribe), since the early ones don’t take as much time to form tubers as late varieties do.

What About Frost?

When we get our first frost (usually early October, but sometimes late September) the foliage of the potato plants die, but the tubers stay nice and cozy underground until we’re ready to dig them.

We usually pile some old hay or straw or leaves on the potato beds to protect the ground from freezing until we’re ready to dig our potatoes. (Next year, that covering makes great compost!)

Good, Loose Soil

It’s important to grow winter-harvested potatoes in good, loose soil for a couple of reasons. The first is so you can easily dig them. This is especially important if you get a lot of rain or snow in early winter. Trying to lift potatoes out of muddy, heavy, clay soil in the freezing cold weather takes all the fun out of growing Christmas potatoes.

The second reason is to promote good drainage. One trouble with storing potatoes in the ground through the winter is that the wet soil can cause them to rot. We plant our potatoes on top of hilled-up soil to promote good drainage, and we usually don’t leave them in the ground past January. This method seems to work well for us.

Where to Get Second-Crop Potato Seed

You don’t need a special kind of seed potato to grow winter potatoes; you can use the same kind you would use for spring planting. (Just be sure you choose a variety that matures quickly.)

I’ve heard that seed suppliers store seed potatoes in a particular way so they can offer seed potatoes specially for growing second-crop potatoes. But my summers are so busy the last thing on my mind in the middle of the hot months is ordering seed potatoes. In addition, I’ve tried several suppliers for potato seed but haven’t found one that I’m completely happy with yet. (Any suggestions are welcome.)

So when I harvest potatoes in the summer and fall, I just set some aside for both spring and autumn planting the next year. And come December, we are enjoying delicious Christmas potatoes. : )

Do you like to winter garden? What are your favorite vegetables to grow in the winter?

Zone 5 Vegetables – When To Plant Zone 5 Vegetable Gardens

If you’re new to a USDA zone 5 area or have never gardened in this region, you might be wondering when to plant a zone 5 vegetable garden. As with every region, vegetables for zone 5 have general planting guidelines. The following article contains information about when to plant zone 5 vegetables. That said, growing vegetables in zone 5 may be subject to a variety of factors, so use this as a guideline and for further information consult with your local extension office, a longtime resident or master gardener for specific information related to your area.

When to Plant Zone 5 Vegetable Gardens

USDA zone 5 is divided into zone 5a and zone 5b and each will vary somewhat regarding planting dates (often by a couple of weeks). Generally, planting is dictated by the first frost free date and the last frost free date, which in the case of USDA zone 5, is May 30 and October 1, respectively.

The earliest vegetables for zone 5, those that should be planted in March through April, are:

  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Chicory
  • Cress
  • Most herbs
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Salsify
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Turnips

Zone 5 vegetables and herbs that should be planted from April to May include:

  • Celery
  • Chives
  • Okra
  • Onions
  • Parsnips

Those that should be planted from May to June include:

  • Bush and pole beans
  • Sweet corn
  • Late cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Leeks
  • Muskmelon
  • Watermelon
  • Pepper
  • Pumpkin
  • Rutabaga
  • Summer and winter squash
  • Tomato

Growing vegetables in zone 5 doesn’t just have to be confined to the spring and summer months. There are a number of hardy veggies that can be sown for winter crops such as:

  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Leeks
  • Collards
  • Parsnips
  • Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Turnips
  • Mache
  • Claytonia greens
  • Swiss chard

All of these crops that can be planted late summer to early fall for winter harvest. Be sure to protect the crops with a cold frame, low tunnel, cover crops or a good layer of straw mulch.

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Image by Chrys Gardener

Find out the best dates for starting and setting out your seedlings.

First Planting Dates

The USDA Hardiness Zone map is one of several maps developed to provide this critical climate information. The USDA map is the one most gardeners in the eastern United States rely on, and the one that most national garden magazines, catalogs, books, and nurseries currently use. This map divides North America into 11 separate zones. Each zone is 10 degrees F warmer (or colder) in an average winter than the adjacent zone (in some versions of the map, each zone is further divided into “a” and “b” regions). Although a good gardening guide, the map is not perfect. For example, it doesn’t take into account soil drainage during cold periods or freeze-thaw cycles or even the absence of a freeze-thaw cycle. Essex County has more than one USDA Hardiness zone: Zone 3 (High Peaks), Zone 4 (Adirondack foothills), & Zone 5 (Champlain Valley). Home gardeners can make use of season extending techniques, such as high tunnels and row covers, to lengthen their growing season.

In Essex County, the last average frost date for Zones 3 and 4 is June 1, but for Zone 5 is May 15. The first average fall frost for Zone 3 is August 15, while for Zones 4 and 5 it’s October 1. The chart below shows dates various popular garden vegetables can be planted as seeds, sets or transplants.

First Seeding & Transplanting Dates for Vegetables in NY

* Indicates variety is transplanted
(x) Indicates variety may be transplanted or seeded. If transplanted, probably should be later than date given.
(t) Indicates variety may be transplants, sets or seed.

As early as garden may be worked in spring or about late April to mid May depending on your Zone.

After the date of the last average frost for your Zone – see text above.

After the soil has become warm in spring or about early to mid June.

Broccoli (x)
Brussels Sprouts (x)
Cabbage (x)
Cauliflower (x)
Celery (x)
Onions (t)
Swiss Chard

Sweet Corn

Squashes, Summer
Squashes, Winter*

Regional Gardening Guide – Zone 5-6

January 1 to January 31 – Discover what you should be doing right now. Our experts share gardening advice, techniques, news, and ideas to make your garden the best ever.

Here’s what’s happening in your gardening region:

January begins the unofficial season of “waiting for spring.” We’ve put away the holiday decorations and inside and outside both seem a bit bare. While waiting until we can get out into the garden again, we can take some action to make sure the new year in the garden is “the best one yet.”

  • 1. Plan now for the garden beds you’ll be sowing in the spring
  • 2. Care for your indoor plants.
  • 3. Add fresh vegetables to your diet with indoor grown microgreens, sprouts, and herbs
  • 4. Inventory seed starting supplies and purchase new items as needed
  • 5. Place orders now for items that sell out early

Your Regional reporter

Carol Michel is a lifelong gardener and resident of Indiana with a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture Production from Purdue University.
She regularly writes gardening related topics for Indiana Gardening and on her award-winning garden blog, She is the author of the recently released book Potted & Pruned: Living a Gardening Life.

To See what’s in Carol’s Garden

1.) Plan now for the garden beds you’ll be sowing in the spring

1. Make plans now for new gardens in the spring. There is time now to think through a good garden plan for spring and summer. Whether you are a new gardener or an experienced gardener, take the time to map out your gardens. Then you’ll be ready when spring finally arrives.

  • Designing Beds – Using layers in the garden. Anyone can learn the basics of good garden bed design. See just how easy it is by following a few simple rules. Read more

2.) Care for your indoor plants.

2. Care for your indoor plants. Check houseplants for insect problems and keep them watered. If you find insects, use an organic, safe-for-indoors spray to control them. If your plants look puny or light colored, they may need more light than they are geting from a nearby window. You can invest in supplemental lighting to help them thrive in your home.

3.) Add fresh vegetables to your diet with indoor grown microgreens, sprouts, and herbs

3. Add fresh vegetables to your diet with indoor grown microgreens, sprouts, and herbs. With good light, good seed, and a little bit of equipment, you can grow veggies indoors in the wintertime.

  • Learn About Microgreens

4.) Inventory seed starting supplies and purchase new items as needed

4. Inventory seed starting supplies and purchase new items as needed. Invest in items that can be re-used from year to year, such as self-watering systems and heat mats, if you don’t already have them.

5.) Place orders now for items that sell out early

5. Place orders now for items that sell out early like grafted tomato plants, to be shipped in time for spring planting. Grafted tomatoes are varieties grown on stronger root systems giving you an overall stronger, more disease resistant plant. If you’ve struggled to grow tomatoes, try grafted tomatoes.


June is the month to set out heat loving crops–zucchini, summer squashes, cucumbers, and melons. Plant these crops on hills–the soil stays warmer. Work a spadeful of compost or well-rotted manure into each hill.

Summer vegetables should be kept evenly moist–transplants should be watered every day until they are well established. Don’t let tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, melons, zucchini, squashes, or cucumbers go dry–this will impede quick and even growth which is essential for sweet, tasty fruits at harvest.

Harvest. Vegetables for harvest this month include: asparagus, broad beans, broccoli, spring cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, salad onions, peas, early potatoes, radish, spinach and chard.

Asparagus. Complete asparagus cutting by the middle of the month. Cut spears 3/8 inch in diameter and 6 to 8 inches tall. Thinner spears should be left to grow into ferns. Set canes at the corners of the asparagus bed and tie twine around them to hold the ferny plants upright. If ferns are allowed to fall over the crowns may be damaged.

Tomatoes. Set tomato seedlings into the garden in all locations this month. Indeterminate vining tomatoes will out produce determinate bush tomatoes. Indeterminate tomatoes produce fruit continuously until the first frost in fall; determinate tomatoes ripen fruit over a three to four week period and then stop.

Set tomatoes so that the soil balls are at least 1 inch below the soil surface. Firm in plants and leave a slight depression around each plant to water in thoroughly. In dry regions, make sure tomato roots stay moist by inserting a 4-inch pot in the ground next to each plant with the top even with soil level. Fill the pots with water regularly. You won’t need to water the surrounding soil.

Set a tomato cage around each plant or place a 4-foot stake alongside each plant tying the stem loosely to provide support. Determinate bush varieties do not require support.

Suckering is the pinching or cutting away of new lateral leaf branches that form in the V between the central main stem and leaf branches. Tomatoes sucker–or produce new branch growth–most of the season. Some new branches are necessary to shade tomatoes from sunscald, but most will steal energy away from the plant and need controlling.

Eggplants and peppers. Be patient with eggplant and peppers. These crops require a soil temperature of 70°F, daytime air temperature above 70°F, and night air temperature above 60°F. Sun and heat are essential for these plants to reach flowering and fruiting. Protect crops in the garden from cool temperatures. Hold off feeding until eggplants and peppers blossom then use moderate nitrogen and high phosphorus and potassium. Use Epsom salts to stimulate root structure.

Cucumbers. Like eggplants, cucumbers thrive in warm weather. Cucumbers mature quickly and are easy to look after. Pinch out the growing tips of cucumber plant when seven leaves have formed. This will keep the plant at a manageable size. Once flowers appear, water cucumbers regularly; avoid washing soil away form the roots. Feed every two weeks with liquid manure once the first fruits have started to grow.

Beans. Green beans and beans for drying can be planted in June. Cold soil can slow down bean growth, so once the soil temperature reaches 60°F, sow or transplant out beans. For optimal growth, the soil should be moist but not wet–too little or too much water can leaves beans susceptible to diseases and pests. Avoid overhead watering. Feed beans every two weeks for the first six weeks with compost tea. Good bean varieties for drying include Yellow Eye, Soldier and Navy.

Lima beans. Lima beans thrive in warm dry weather. In cool-summer regions try Jackson Wonder, Eastland Baby, and Packers; in warm-summer regions plant Dixie Butterpea, Fordhook 242, and Burpee’s Improved Bush Lima. For a long harvest and the best yield, pick limas regularly.

Zucchini and winter squash. Plant summer squash, zucchini, and winter squash when the days are warm and long. Soil temperatures greater than 70°F are optimal for direct seeding and growing summer and winter squashes. Retain as much of the soil ball as possible when transplanting and water in immediately. Squash are heavy feeders: choose an organic fertilizer high in nitrogen and moderate in phosphorus and potassium. Seaweed or fish emulsion is a good choice. Winter squashes share the same growing requirements as summer squash but need an additional three months of frost-free growing time. Use row covers to protect squash from chilly temperatures. Blue Hubbard and Butternut are favorite winter squashes.

Okra. Sow okra in wide rows once soil temperatures are greater than 70°F. Feed okra once a month with seaweed emulsion or compost tea. Cajun Delight is a good choice in cool-summer regions.

Tender crop successions. Plan succession crops of tender warm-weather crops by looking ahead to the average first frost date in fall. Count back the number of days to maturity for each crop that you want to grow. Depending on the number of days left in your growing season, you may be able to plant one or more crop successions beginning this month. Make sure there is room in the garden for the crops that you want to grow. If unexpected cool weather happens, you may need to add a week or two to crops to allow for slowed ripening.

Salad crops. Salad greens–lettuce, mesclun, and spinach–do best in cool weather. In cool-summer regions, you can direct sow lettuce right through the summer. In mild or warm-summer regions, choose heat-resistant varieties. Rapid growth is the key to tender and tasty lettuceand salad greens. To encourage fast growth, give leaf crops soil rich in well-aged compost and side-dress plants with compost tea every two weeks unti harvest.

Herbs. Keep weeds down around herbs. Do not give the herb garden much water; most herbs come from dry Mediterranean countries and will not suffer if the roots go dry.

Sow rows of chervil and dill, and thin established seedlings from 6 inches to 2 or 3 feet according to the height of the plants at maturity.

Take and start cuttings of rosemary and sage.

Most herbs will now be ready for picking: mint, sage, and thyme can be used fresh, also chives, fennel, parsley and sorrel. To freeze herbs for later use as flavoring: cut small springs from plants, wash, and blanch for one minute in rapidly boiling water. These can be placed in plastic bags and frozen for later use.

Feeding crops. Spring-sown and transplanted crops will be ready for an extra nutrient boost as soon as they begin to flower. Side-dress young plants by drawing a circle with your finger around each plant at its drip line to a depth of about one inch deep. Sprinkle a tablespoon of organic fertilizer around each plant or add a line of aged compost; work it gently into the soil with a hand tool and then water well. The extra nutrients will help blossoms develop into fruit and to yield sweet tasting vegetables.

Watering crops. When the weather is dry, water summer crops so that moisture reaches deep to the roots. A long, slow watering is best. Most crops want an inch of water each week–this means soaking the soil down to a depth of four to five inches. Stick your index finger into the soil to gauge watering. Water in the morning or evening when evaporation by the sun is low.

Weeding. Stay ahead of weeds. Weeds compete with vegetables for moisture and nutrients. Don’t let them get a foot hold in the garden.

Planting for fall and winter harvest in cool-summer regions: In USDA Zones 4-7 the shorter growing season means you can plan and plant cool weather crops in June for harvest in fall and winter. Here are crops you can plant now:

Brussels sprouts. Plant Brussels sprouts for harvest in winter. Brussels sprouts take 100 to 130 days to reach harvest. (In warm regions, wait until October to direct-sow Brussels sprouts.)

Cabbage. Plant cabbage for harvest in late autumn. Late-season green varieties include Storage No. 4, Scanbo and Wirosa. Red cabbage to plant includes Rona and Super Red 80.

Broccoli. Plant fall or winter broccoli varieties: Arcadia, Marathon, Pirate, and Saga in summer for harvest in fall or early winter.

Leeks. Leeks are often grown in ground cleared of early potatoes. Plant long-season varieties for harvest from late summer through winter.

Parsnips. Parsnips require 150 days to reach harvest. Start them now to harvest a few in fall but most will be harvested early next spring.

Rutabagas. Sow rutabagas now for harvest in autumn. Rutabagas store well for months if the temperature is kept just above freezing. Sow thinly in drills ½ inch deep and 18 inches apart.

Celery. Plant self-blanching celery early this month. Set plants 12 inches apart in rows 18 inches apart.

It’s June…Here’s 17 Vegetables You Can Still Plant For a Full Fall Harvest!

Table of Contents (Quickly Jump To Information)

It maybe June (can you believe we’re halfway through the year?), but there’s still plenty you can plant for a late summer/fall harvest!


(This is an excerpt from my #1 Amazon Bestselling book Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening. If you want a great resource to help you grow everything listed below, grab it on Amazon right here!)

Believe me when I say that there’s veggies on this list I’ll be planting myself – I just cleaned out the greenhouses, spread rabbit manure to add nutrients to the soil, and I’ll be planting some beans, beets, and greens I hope to overwinter!

Even if you haven’t started your garden, don’t despair – there’s still plenty of time!

Here’s 17 plants you can still start this month!


Lots of varieties love the warmer weather! You can harvest some varieties in as little as 45 days. In hotter areas, stick with bush varieties to conserve water. Direct sow every two weeks for a continued harvest well into fall. Plant 10-15 plants per person in your family.


You can grow beets for either the roots or the greens. Direct sow in the soil now, and they’ll be ready to harvest in 45-60 days. Pickle them to preserve them!

Bok Choy

I love bok choy because it’s mild (aka not bitter), you can harvest it when it’s still young for a super nutritious addition to any sandwich or salad.


While you might not connect broccoli with something you should grow in June, especially in climates with a shorter growing season, you can start it now so it’s ready to harvest when the nights start to dip below 50 degrees.


If you plant cabbage now, you can harvest well into cooler weather (cabbage loves lower temperatures!) It takes a bit of time to grow big enough for harvest, so make sure it has a dedicated space you won’t need for anything else.

Calendula (C. officinalis)

This medicinal herb/flower can be used for so many purposes, from giving chickens golden egg yolks to creating healing salves for your family. Direct sow, and seeds will germinate in about 2 weeks.


If you start your carrots now, you can still get an early fall crop – and they can hang out in the garden well into late fall.


Corn grows fairly quickly, but it needs full sun and lots of water. You can harvest it in as little as 70 days if you choose a fast-maturing variety. If you want to harvest enough for your whole family, plan on 12 – 15 ears per person.


Consider bush cucumbers to save space and water. You can harvest them when they’re small for sweet pickles.


Eggplant loves heat, and you can see purple eggplants starting to form in as little as 60 days. Choose a fast-growing variety. If your family loves eggplant, you should plan on 3 plants per person.


There’s plenty of herbs you can start right now, including:

  • Basil (grow several plants for a winter full of pesto)
  • Oregano (Greek oregano has great, large leaves)
  • Thyme
  • Sage (grow 7-10 plants for smudge sticks)
  • Dill (grow 3-4 plants for leaves, 10 or more for dill seed for pickling)
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Lavender

You can plant herbs outside or in pots so you can bring them in at the end of season. Remember you will need time to dry them – so don’t plant too many and get overwhelmed.


Now is a great time to start watermelons and cantaloupe! Plan on 3 – 4 plants per person in your family.


Count on 20 plants per person.


Squash loves heat, and will grow quickly in the higher temperatures. Yellow summer squash is a great variety, as are gourd varieties.


You can let them go to seed for a healthy snack or harvest them for cut flowers.

Swiss Chard

Perfect if you have a shady spot in your garden, which will help the leaves from bolting and becoming bitter.


Plant for greens and/or the roots. You will be able to harvest them long into the fall.

I’d like to hear from you!

What are you planting right now? Leave a comment below!

Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.

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What to sow and grow in June

With days at their longest, get sowing & growing in the month of June.
Image: Olga Gorevan

There’s plenty to keep you busy in the garden in June, but also plenty to sit back and enjoy! With the longest day bringing extra hours of warmth and sunshine, the threat of frost is now long past, and you can start planting in earnest.

Here are our top picks of seasonal things to sow and grow in the garden this month:

Flowers to sow and grow

Entertain your little ones by growing the tallest sunflower this summer.
Image: Sunflower ‘Russian Giant’ from Thompson & Morgan

Flowers to sow and grow this June include:

In the greenhouse/indoors

  • • Sow winter-flowering pansies in seed trays so they’ll be ready for your winter containers.
  • • It might seem a bit early, but start thinking about spring flowers for next year. Sow perennial seeds such as aquilegia, bellis, Canterbury bells, delphiniums and lupins indoors for flowering next year.
  • • Sow perennial scabiosa in pots or trays for years of attractive flowers which are loved by bees and butterflies.
  • • For flowers that bridge the gap between spring and summer try growing forget-me-nots, foxgloves, sweet Williams, and wallflowers in seed trays now, for colour next year.
  • • Now there is space on windowsills again, think about sowing biennials for next year.

Direct sow outdoors

  • • It’s not too late to direct sow calendula, candytuft, clarkia (Godetia), larkspur and limnanthes for a show of flowers later this summer.
  • • Nasturtiums are easy to grow in containers or from direct sowings, and quick to flower – use them in beds, containers, baskets and the vegetable plot
  • • Scatter nigella seeds in your borders now for some striking blue late-summer flowers.
  • • Grow the tallest sunflower from direct sowings – great fun for the kids!

Plant outdoors

  • • Now that the risk of frost has passed, plant out any remaining annual summer bedding plants.

Herbs & vegetables to sow and grow

For a bright addition to your vegetable beds, plant Swiss Chard.
Image: Azdora

Here’s what to sow and grow in the vegetable garden this June:

In the greenhouse / indoors

  • • Sow cucumber and gherkin seeds in individual pots or modules.
  • • Start winter cabbage seeds off in a greenhouse or cold frame now as they require a long growing season.
  • • There’s still time to grow runner beans and french beans – sow them directly in the ground now.
  • • Sow beetroot thinly, directly into the ground.
  • • Sow broccoli and calabrese now in a nursery bed, for transplanting later on, or sow directly in your vegetable plot.
  • • Direct sow carrots in rows and protect with fleece to prevent carrot fly attack.
  • • Add colour to your stir-fries with chicory. Seeds can be sown directly into the soil now.
  • • Sow fast-growing herbs such as coriander, dill and parsley directly into the ground or in containers indoors.
  • • Try direct sowing hardy corn salad (Lamb’s Lettuce) for summer and winter salads.
  • • Sow courgette and squash seeds in pots or directly outside now.
  • • Think ahead to winter cropping and start kale seeds in a nursery bed now.
  • • For something more unusual try sowing kohl rabi where you want it to grow – it’ll be ready in as little as 8 weeks after sowing.
  • • Try direct sowing nutritious pak choi every 3 weeks for a continuous crop.
  • • Sow peas directly into the ground or start them off in modules if mice are a problem. Allow about 20 plants per person.
  • • Sow radish seeds directly into the soil for quick and easy home-grown salads.
  • • Salad leaves are one of the fastest and most productive crops you can grow – sow seeds in module trays under glass for transplanting in the garden later. Alternatively sow direct outside and thin out the seedlings. Sow every 3 or 4 weeks for continuous harvesting.
  • • Direct sow spinach seeds in soil enriched with plenty of organic matter. Try growing spinach ‘Perpetual’ if you have very dry soil.
  • • Sow spring onion seeds in drills outdoors for a quick crop to add to salads and stir fries.
  • • Sow swede seeds outdoors in a rich fertile soil for autumn and winter crops.
  • • Sow sweetcorn seeds directly outside or start them off in modules. Grow at least 12 plants for good pollination and cropping.
  • • Swiss Chard can be direct sown now for a colourful addition to both borders and the vegetable plot.
  • • Start to sow turnips in drills outdoors for a great addition to casseroles and stews.

June’s the time to plant pumpkins & squash.
Image: Squash ‘Autumn Crown’ (Winter) from Thompson & Morgan.

  • • Plant out sprouting broccoli spacing the plants 60cm apart. Calabrese plants can be spaced closer together at 30cm (1ft) apart.
  • • Plant your Brussels sprout plants deeply in the soil and earth them up as they grow for stability.
  • • Plant out summer cabbages about 35cm (14in) apart.
  • • Plant out cauliflowers into moist soil, and be sure not to allow the soil to dry out during growth.
  • • Plant out pepper plants into grow-bags in a sheltered, sunny position.
  • • Plant out kale plants allowing them plenty of space to grow – space 75cm (30in) apart for the tall varieties.
  • • Plant out leeks by dibbing a hole 15cm (6in) deep, dropping the leek inside and filling the hole with water. There’s no need to refill the hole with soil – this method will ensure a good blanch on the stems.
  • • Plant out celery in blocks to increase natural blanching of the stems.
  • • Plant out celeriac into fertile soil.
  • • Plant out cucumbers in the greenhouse or in grow bags outdoors in a sheltered, sunny position.
  • • Plant out squashes and pumpkins into rich, fertile soil – they are heavy feeders!
  • • Plant out your tomato plants in a warm and sunny location for the best crops.
  • • Charlotte and Maris Peer potatoes can be planted from mid June to late July. These are best planted into our 40 litre patio bags, 5 tubers per bag. No chitting is necessary as the warmth of the compost and the summer temperatures will quickly entice growth.

Fruit to sow and grow

Order your strawberry plants now for a delicious crop in just 8 weeks.
Image: Strawberry ‘Florence’ (Late Season) from Thompson & Morgan

Try growing these fruits this month:

  • • Order potted strawberry plants or cold-stored, bare rooted runners and get them in the ground straight away. Feed and water them and you’ll be able to harvest in about 8 weeks’ time. Late season ‘Florence’ strawberries are a great choice.
  • • When your cape gooseberry plants (Physalis peruviana) have reached 20cm high, plant them out in well drained soil in full sun or transplant into grow bags in the greenhouse.
  • • Now that the risk of a late frost has passed, plant melon seedlings out into a sheltered, sunny spot. They need rich fertile soil and do especially well in a polytunnel.

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