GardenSMART Newsletter Signup
Visit our Sponsors!
Visit our Sponsors and win.

Renee Shepherd founded Renee's Garden in 1997. Renee says, "This seed line is my personal selection of new, exciting and unusual seed choices of time-tested heirlooms, the best international hybrids and fine open-pollinated varieties.” Renee is a prolific writer, both for her website and for national publications. She is a long time board member of the National Gardening Association. She lectures widely at national and regional garden shows and is a featured speaker at numerous gardening conferences.



Renee Shepherd, Renee’s Garden
Photographs: Anne K. Moore

Gardening is an ongoing process, and, while timing is important, don't be overwhelmed by a sense of being too late to plant by some arbitrary date. All too often, I hear gardeners use a day of a particular month as though it was written in stone--for example, Northwesterners think sweet peas must be sown by Valentine's Day and New Englanders consider Memorial Day the "do or die" critical garden planting day. In truth, each season is different and garden planting dates have been even harder to peg down than the traditional wisdom would lead one to believe!  I want to emphasize that it's not too late to plant a great garden, even in June and July.

What to plant:
While it is true that fruiting plants like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants need to be set out now, many, if not most, summer producers will grow even more quickly from seed planted in early summer when the soil is well warmed up and teeming with life. You'll be surprised how fast seeds will come up and explode with growth. Don't hesitate to plant seeds for beans, summer squash, beets, carrots, and chard. Start a crop of "cut and come again" salad mix in a spot with bright light but out of the full, hot sun. Plant heat- and sun-loving herbs like basil, oregano, thyme and sage with abandon, keeping the seed beds well moistened. Don't neglect to plant some fragrant scented basils in containers to heighten summer afternoon gardening pleasure.

Second crops:
Even if you already have beans, squash, chard, carrots and basil in the ground, and your plants are growing well, June is a fine time to start a second crop to have ready for another bounteous late summer harvest when the first crops of these staples have finished up. I usually start seeds every month, finishing sowing summer-producing vegetables in late June. In July and August, I start seeds for fall crops like all kinds of lettuces, spinach, radishes, kale, leeks and carrots, and asian delicacies like pakchoi.

You can still plant flowers, too!
Planting later crops in June also applies to flowers! Plant more sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias, etc.--all of the annuals that usually burn out by late summer. This way, you'll have a marvelous second flush of bloom and can cut armfuls for Labor Day!

June and July are also good times to start seeds for perennials and biennials to bloom next spring. I sow seeds in a protected seed bed and then transplant seedlings in fall to overwinter, then bloom, ensuring me a wonderful spring greeting in the garden next year.

Reprinted with permission from Renee Shepherd, Renee’s Garden June 2011 E-Newsletter.






All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

Article URL:

Back to Articles List                               

GardenSMART Featured Article

Written by Joan Maloof, Photographs by Robert Llewellyn

Trees don't have two eyes like we do, yet they can see. They know how much light is hitting their leaves, and they know the quality of that light, too. They know if it's summer or winter by the length of the day, and they know if it's noon or afternoon by the wavelength of the light. Read more...

Join fellow garden lovers, history buffs and music enthusiasts to discover the quaint towns and colorful gardens of Holland and Belgium in May of 2018.

This exciting journey will be hosted by nationally known host Eric Johnson, of Public Television's blockbuster show GardenSmart. Your river cruise begins in Amsterdam where you'll see works by Rembrandt and Van Gogh, Anne Frank's House, and see the city's most famous gardens. Then spend a full morning on the grounds of the most beautiful spring garden in the world-Keukenhof! Visit the picturesque Belgian towns of Bruges and Ghent as well as Kinderdijk, with the Netherlands' iconic collection of 19 authentic windmills that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, history buffs will experience a captivating tour of the WWI trenches of Flanders and WWII Arnhem Battlefield of A Bridge Too Far fame. You won't want to miss this extraordinary garden adventure to Holland and Belgium.

Book by November 15, 2017 and save up to $1200 dollars per person!

To register call: Alki Tours at 800-895-2554

  Click here to sign up for our monthly NEWSLETTER packed with great articles and helpful tips for your home, garden and pets!  
Copyright © 1998-2012 GSPC. All Rights Reserved.