For many gardeners in the upper Midwest states, June is the best time of the year. The weather is reliably warm, the garden is in full swing, and there is plenty of work to do. June gardening tasks in the upper Midwest region are many, but this is also a great time to enjoy the bounty of the garden and warm summer days.
What Upper Midwest Gardening Looks Like in June
By June in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa, the final frost has passed, and summer is in full swing. Temperatures are rising, the garden is blooming and growing, and it’s not so late in the growing season yet that drought has become an issue.
Your garden to-do list in June will be long and varied. The most important thing to remember this month though is to get on top of chores. If you don’t get started on things like weed pulling and other types of maintenance, your garden can get out of control quickly.
Also, don’t forget to enjoy your garden now. The weather throughout this month is often just right for relaxing outdoors. It’s also a good time of year for entertaining. Show off your hard work and have the neighbors over for a barbecue or outdoor cocktail party.
What to Do in June in the Upper Midwest
Exactly when you get each of these chores done will depend on where you are in the region. In northern Minnesota, for instance, you will be a little behind, while in southern Iowa you may be a little ahead of this list. Of course, some chores should be done throughout the month.
- It should be safe now to transplant all seedlings you began indoors.
- Begin fertilizing your lawn.
- Depending on rain levels, begin watering the lawn.
- Fertilize bulbs and perennials.
- Thin vegetables you seeded in the ground in May.
- Continue weeding beds.
- Prune spring-flowering shrubs once the blooms are spent.
- Move overwintered houseplants outdoors.
- Begin pinching back annuals as they grow to 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm.). This will encourage fuller growth.
- Water beds as needed.
- Begin second rounds of succession vegetable plantings.
- Plant warm weather vegetables outdoors, including eggplant, peppers, and late potatoes.
- Harvest early season fruits and veggies, like strawberries, raspberries, peas, radishes, and lettuces.
- Protect berries from birds using netting if necessary.
- Cut back strawberry plants once harvested.
- Mulch flower beds.
- Fertilize rose bushes after first blooming.
- Stake and support vegetables like tomatoes and tall flowers.
- Keep an eye out for summer pests and treat plants as needed. These include aphids, flea beetles, leafhoppers, potato beetles, cucumber beetles, and spider mites.
- Look for signs of fungal disease and thin out plants as needed to improve air flow.