Planting in June

(Question)

Hi there,
I’ve been living overseas for some time and will be back home in Ontario and not working for the whole summer. I’m keen to spend it in my family’s garden at the cottage in Kingston as it’s not seen much love over the last few seasons. I am wondering what herbs, vegetables and/or flowers could be planted in June? I know that it’s late but I won’t be around any earlier to take care of them.
Thank-you!!

(Answer)

Hi  – There are lots of herbs, vegetables and flowers that you can plant in June. Planting times are all stated relative to the frost free date. Environment Canada gives the frost free date for Kingston as May 2 but this will vary depending on where your cottage is relative to Lake Ontario. Add a week or two if you are located north of the 401. The average first fall frost is given as October 10.

Some vegetables, peas for example, need cool weather so must be started early. A second crop of some of these hardy vegetables can be started mid-summer for fall harvests. The following schedule from The Kitchen Garden by Patrick Lima provides guidance on when seeds or transplants can be planted from early spring through mid-summer. You should be able to plant the semi-hardy vegetables and herbs till the middle of June and the tender and heat-loving ones will do just fine.

Another herb you may want to consider is basil the seeds of which can be planted at the same time as the heat-loving vegetables.   Other herbs can be planted as transplants.

Many flowers can be direct sown. Cosmos, marigolds, zinnia, nasturtiums, morning glories and sunflowers all do well when direct sown. However, flowers that are direct sown in June will not give you blooms till late in the season – 7-8 weeks from sowing at best. In early June you should still be able to find lots of annuals available in your local garden centre for transplanting.

Enjoy your time in the garden.

SPRING SCHEDULE

VERY HARDY – Sow 5-7 weeks before last frost

leeks, onions, peas, spinach, dill, garlic, shallots

HARDY – Sow 2-3 weeks before last frost

lettuce, mustard, turnip greens, chervil, coriander, parsley

SEMI-HARDY – Sow 1-2 weeks before last frost

beets, carrots, parsnips, radish, broccoli*, brussel sprouts*, cabbage*, cauliflower*, kale, kohlrabi, swiss chard

TENDER – Sow on or just after last frost

Beans, corn, pumpkin, summer squash, winter squash, zucchini

HEAT-LOVING – Sow 1-2 weeks after last frost

cucumber, lima beans, eggplants*, tomatoes*, peppers*, cantaloupe*, watermelon, peanuts, sweet potatoes

* best as transplants

SUMMER SCHEDULE

Sow 10-12 weeks before fall frost

beets, carrots, Chinese cabbage, endive, radicchio, rutabaga

Sow 8 weeks before fall frost

Bok choy, lettuce, kohlrabi, oriental radish, snow peas, spinach, turnips