11 Fruits and Vegetables to Direct Sow in June

Despite it being the beginning of summer, June isn't too late to direct sow seeds into your garden. In this article, gardening expert Logan Hailey shares her favorite plants you can direct sow into your garden in the month of June.

Vegetables and Fruits for Direct Seeding in June

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Frosts have finally passed, and long summer days are ahead! June is ideal for establishing your late summer and autumn crops. It may seem strange to start planning for fall while you are just beginning to enjoy summer’s abundance.

However, June plantings can set you up for months of tasty carrots, beans, onions, and other fall storage crops. You can also enjoy heat-tolerant vegetables like okra, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, greens, and fast-growing corn.

Best of all, you don’t have to worry about cold weather harming your germination! But you will have to take extra care to water thoroughly.

Let’s dig into my favorite 11 seeds to sow in June.

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Is It Too Late to Plant in June?

It is a common misconception that gardens are only planted in the spring. In reality, a succession of plants allows for continued harvests throughout the season. June is a perfect month to get started on late summer and fall plantings.

You can seed carrots, parsnips, beans, beets, corn, melons, cucumbers, onions, and herbs. In colder regions, June is also a great time to get a head start on cool-weather brassicas like broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.

11 Crops to Direct Seed in June

Succession planting is the art of staggering your plantings to enjoy consistent harvests throughout your growing season. Instead of growing only spring carrots or one crop of corn, you could harvest these veggies continuously! This is what us organic farmers use to ensure we have vegetables at market nearly every month of the year.

Corn

Close-up of growing corn in the garden. The plant has tall, long stems with large, elongated, blade-like leaves. They are arranged alternately along the stem and are bright green in color. The fruit of corn is the corncob, which is a cylindrical structure formed by the fusion of several grains arranged in dense rows. The kernels are covered with a protective layer called husk, which is green in color and consists of tough, papery leaves.
Sow corn every 10-14 days for multiple harvests.
  • Soil Temperature: 65-80°F
  • Seeding Rate: Sow ¾-1” deep, 6-7” apart, in rows 30-36” apart
  • Direct Seed in These Zones: Zones 2-10

Sweet corn loves the warmth and sunshine of June. It will germinate easily and grow rapidly in summer weather, particularly in northern zones where the days aren’t scorching. Because this grass-family crop only yields 1-2 ears of corn per plant, you will want to sow multiple successions of corn to enjoy at summer cookouts.

True corn lovers should direct seed corn kernels every 10-14 days. This also allows you to experiment with multiple varieties without risking cross-pollination. Each cultivar matures at a different rate and sends up its tassels at a different time. Alternatively, you can plant different corn varieties on opposite ends of your garden.

Corn matures in as little as 60 days, which means June-seeded corn will be ready to enjoy by August. When harvesting, squeeze the developing ears to check that they are plump and filled out for optimum sweetness. Choose a midseason variety like ‘Goldcrest,’ ‘Skyray,’ or ‘Buttergold.’ Sow in late June to prepare for Labor Day holiday cookouts.

Remember to choose sweet corn varieties for fresh eating and quicker harvests. Popcorn varieties tend to take longer to mature.

Carrots

Close-up of a woman's hand holding a large bunch of freshly picked carrots in the garden. Carrot is an orange-colored elongated tap root. It has feathery, fern-like leaves arranged in a rosette pattern. The leaves are tender, finely divided, bright green.
Seed long-season carrot varieties in June for mid-August harvest.
  • Soil Temperature: 60-85°F
  • Seeding Rate: ¾-1” apart (wider for bigger carrots), ¼-½” deep, in rows 16-24” apart
  • Direct Seed in These Zones: Zone 2-8

We typically think of carrots as spring or fall roots. However, long-season varieties like ‘Chantenay’ and ‘Bolero’ can take up to 70 or 80 days to mature. Seeding in June will ensure you have an abundance of sweet orange roots by mid-August.

Summer carrots may not be as sweet as their spring and fall counterparts, but they are just as nutritious and delicious. Cooler weather during the maturing phase will help sweeten the roots. So if you live in a southern climate, you may want to wait until July or August to seed your autumn carrots.

The only downside to seeding summer carrots is their moisture demands. Hot sunny days are not ideal for bare soil with newly planted carrot seeds. To make matters worse, carrots are already known for finicky germination. The pros use several tricks to ensure an even stand:

  • Amend carrot beds with an abundance of compost. You can even mulch the upper layer of soil with 1-2” of compost.
  • Rake smooth before seeding.
  • Maintain continuous soil moisture. Never let carrots dry out!
  • Overhead irrigation (sprinklers or a hose) is ideal for the seeding phase.
  • Once germinated, you can lay down drip lines or soaker hoses.
  • Lay a piece of thin row cover over the bed. In hot climates, you can use shade cloth.
  • Be patient! Check the water levels daily.

Okra

Close-up of an okra plant in a sunny garden. The plant has tall, upright stems and large, lobed green leaves with a slightly fuzzy texture. Okra pods are green, slightly elongated, cylindrical in shape with ridges along the entire length.
Okra thrives in hot weather, and it is best to sow it directly in June.
  • Soil Temperature: 75-90°F
  • Seeding Rate: Sow seeds ½” deep, 4-6” apart. Thin to 12-18” between plants.
  • Direct Seed in These Zones: Zones 2-12

A true hot-weather crop, okra is often one of the most vibrant plants in July and August’s scorching southern temperatures. In the north, June might be the first opportunity to direct seed this unique vegetable. It cannot handle temperatures below 60°F, so most growers wait 2-3 weeks after their frost date to get this southern classic in the ground.

By June, there is no need to transplant. Direct sow and keep the soil moist. The long okra pods should be ready by late July or early August. This hollyhock relative is ideal for crop rotations because it isn’t closely related to any other garden vegetables. It also produces beautiful, edible flowers.

For vibrant colors, choose a variety like ‘Red Burgundy.’ For a quicker harvest, choose ‘Clemson Spineless.’

Beans

Close-up of a leguminous plant in the garden. The bush has compound leaves, consisting of heart-shaped green leaves with smooth edges. The fruits of the leguminous plant are bean pods. The pods are long, narrow, green.
June is the perfect time to sow various types of beans, whether green, shelling, or dry.
  • Soil Temperature: 75-90°F
  • Seeding Rate: Plant 1” deep about 3” apart in rows 2-4’ apart (depending on variety and trellis)
  • Direct Seed in These Zones: Zones 1-12

Green beans, shelling beans, or dry beans; pole beans or bush beans! No matter the variety or their growing habit, this leguminous crop germinates readily in the warmth of June soils. This is the perfect time to direct sow beans for enjoyment in summer and autumn. If you already planted a spring succession of beans, you may want to sow another in late June to offer a high-yielding refresh.

Green beans average 50 to 60 days to maturity, while dry beans take up to 100 days. Mid-to-late June is the optimum time to prepare for autumn soups, stews, and canning projects.

‘Provider’ is the most reliable green bean cultivar, while ‘Gold Rush’ and ‘Ruby Moon Hyacinth’ offer intriguing colors. Dried heirloom beans like ‘Scarlet Runner,’ ‘Lima,’ ‘Appaloosa,’ and ‘Anasazi,’ are stunning in the garden and in the kitchen.

If you haven’t grown many legumes in your beds, consider inoculating bean seeds with a Rhizobium bean inoculant. This will help beneficial bacteria colonize the bean roots and fix nitrogen in the soil for crops planted afterward.

Zucchini

Top view, close-up of a growing zucchini plant in the garden. Zucchini is a summer squash that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. This is a bushy plant with large, wide leaves, dark green in color. The leaves have a rough texture and are deeply lobed and serrated. Zucchini have an elongated and cylindrical shape, with a smooth and shiny dark green skin.
Seeding summer squash in June is fast and convenient, allowing for multiple successions and a continuous harvest.
  • Soil Temperature: 75-95°F
  • Seeding Rate: Sow ½ to 1” deep, 18-24” apart, in rows 4-6’ apart. Leave 8-12” of space to walk between the large plants without getting scratched by their spines.
  • Direct Seed in These Zones: Zones 2-12
  • Transplant in These Zones: Not necessary

Fast-growing summer squash is perfectly fine to seed at any time in June. Whether you forgot to plant zucchini in May, or you want to gear up for loads of zucchini bread this fall, this cucurbit is quick and easy to direct sow in the summer garden.

Many organic vegetable farmers sow several successions of zucchini throughout the summer so they always have a fresh batch to harvest from. Although a couple of plants can provide ample zucchini for an entire family, they can fall victim to Botrytis or other diseases from late spring rains and early summer heat.

These heat-loving squash plants are eager to soak up the summer sun. As long as you keep the soil consistently moist, it will germinate easily in the warmth of a June garden.

Choose a fast-growing variety like ‘Dunja,’ Max’s Gold,’ or round zucchini.

Melons

Close-up of growing Melons in the garden. The plant has climbing vines, large, wide, slightly lobed, bright green leaves with a rough texture. The fruits are large, rounded, with a thick, rough, creamy-green skin.
June is the time for northern gardeners to directly sow melon seeds, avoiding transplanting.
  • Soil Temperature: 80-90°F
  • Seeding Rate: Sow ½ to 1” deep, 3 seeds every 18-36”, in rows 6-8’ apart, then thin to 1 plant every 2-3’ feet. Leave plenty of space for vines to ramble.
  • Direct Seed in These Zones: Zones 1-12

In June, northern gardeners finally have the freedom to direct sow melon seeds! Frost-free weather allows these heat-loving cucurbits to germinate and grow in peace, without risking disturbance from transplanting.

There is an abundance of unique melon varieties, from rainbow-colored watermelons to ultra-sweet French cantaloupes.

They will surely put grocery store melons to shame! Personal-sized melons like ‘Sugar Baby’ watermelon or French muskmelons like ‘Charentais’ mature quickly, so you can enjoy them in August’s heat. As a bonus, they don’t make a huge mess when you cut them.

If your nights are still cool, cover melons with a light row cover to protect them from temperatures below 50°F. Remove covers during the day to allow for proper pollination.

Cucumbers

Close-up of a growing cucumber plant with fruits in the garden. Cucumber is an annual plant with large and wide leaves of dark green color, with palmately lobed. The leaves are rough in texture and have a slightly fuzzy or spiny surface. The fruits are small, oblong in shape, with a waxy dark green skin with pimples on the surface.
June is a great time to sow cucumbers directly if you missed the earlier planting or had crop loss.
  • Soil Temperature: 75-90°F
  • Seeding Rate: Sow ½-¾” deep, 12” apart, in rows 4-6’ apart or closer if using a trellis
  • Direct Seed in These Zones: Zones 2-10

If you forgot to seed cucumbers or you lost your spring crop to disease, June is a fine time to start more cukes. These frost-sensitive vines love the summer warmth and appreciate being direct sown. With just 60 to 70 days to maturity, June-seeded cucumbers will start setting fruit by early August and continue producing until the first frost.

As a farmer, we always seeded several successions of cucumbers throughout the summer. This gave us a buffer against powdery mildew and pest attacks. You will also appreciate some fresh fall cukes if you enjoy making homemade pickles.

Japanese cucumbers like ‘Tasty Green’ are particularly delicious for fresh eating. I love ‘Lemon Cucumber,’ ‘Space Master,’ and ‘Marketmore’ for slicing and pickling. Use a trellis to maximize vertical space and keep your cucumbers clean.

Easy trellis options include T-posts and cattle panels, an existing fence, or a wooden A-frame. The curly-q tendrils of cucumbers naturally want to grab onto something.

Winter Squash

Close-up of a growing Butternut pumpkin in the garden. This plant is a vining plant with large, broad, heart-shaped leaves with a rough texture. The leaves are dark green. Two large fruits hang from the vines of the plant. These fruits are large and oblong, with a convex bottom and a pointed, elongated neck. The appearance of the fruit is firm and rough, light orange in color.
There is still time in June to plant pumpkins, butternuts, delicata, and other squash for storage.
  • Soil Temperature: 77-90°F
  • Seeding Rate: Space plants 18-24” apart in rows 3-5’ apart, wider spacing makes harvest easier, but dwarf varieties can be planted closer together.
  • Direct Seed in These Zones: Zones 2-12

Hopefully, you started your first winter squash succession about a month ago. If you forgot to seed storage squash or had issues with seedlings, there is still time in June to get pumpkins, butternuts, delicata, and other squash in the ground!

Winter squash is a bit of a misnomer because these cucurbit crops mature predominately in the summer and fall. Most Americans closely associate pumpkins and butternut squash with autumn feasts. The storage squash family also includes spaghetti squash, delicata squash, acorn squash, ‘Pink Banana’ squash, and more.

These fruits differ from summer squash because they have harder outer skins to last through winter. Winter squash also takes significantly longer to mature than its summer squash cousins. The outer shells must fully develop and ripen before the first fall frosts. The post-harvest curing process is key to a long storage life. We cover it extensively in this guide.

Fast-maturing varieties like ‘Honey Boat’ delicata, ‘Honey Bear’ acorn squash, or ‘Butterbaby’ miniature butternuts are ideal for summer plantings. They average 90 days to maturity, which means June-seeded winter squash will be ready to pick around early September.

Now that the weather is warm, you can easily direct sow your squash in the garden and allow them to vine freely! Light row covers help young plants establish themselves more quickly without the pressure of squash bugs.

Leeks

Close-up of rows of leeks in a sunny garden. The leek, a member of the Allium family, has long thin leaves that grow densely upright. The leaves are thick, cylindrical, with a bluish-green tint. They gradually expand towards the base, forming a bundle of overlapping layers.
Sow leeks in June for northern zones 7 and colder, allowing over 120 days to mature.
  • Soil Temperature: 65-86°F
  • Seeding Rate: Sow 6 seeds/foot at ¼-½” depth in rows 24” apart. Thin to 6” between plants.
  • Transplant in These Zones: Only if you started leeks in spring
  • Direct Seed in These Zones: Zones 3-7

Leeks are another crop that doesn’t really scream “summer.” Many growers plant leeks indoors in early spring and transplant out when they are pencil-thick.

You can also direct seed them. These long-season alliums need over 120 days to mature. These hardy alliums are perfect for overwintering if they are established before frosts. June-sown leeks will be fattening up just in time for the cool weather of October.

Leeks are the underrated cousins of onions. When cooked, they have an almost buttery texture and a rich, onion-like flavor that tastes incredible in any saute. However, remember that this cool-weather crop won’t appreciate the scorching heat of southern summers. This June planting is best for northern zones 7 and colder.

Don’t forget to mound leeks as they grow! Hilling up the soil creates beautiful white-blanched stalks with a more complex flavor. You can also harvest baby leeks in the same way as green onions.

Scallions

Close-up of young Scallions plants in the garden. The plant has long thin and hollow green leaves that grow in clumps. The leaves are green, straight, vertical.
Plant scallions anytime for a quick harvest in just 60 days.
  • Soil Temperature: 70-86°F
  • Seeding Rate: Sow ¼” apart in 2-3” wide bands about ¼” to ½” deep. Thin to an inch apart and weed regularly.
  • Direct Seed in These Zones: Zones 2-12

Also known as bunching onions or green onions, scallions are a lovely crop you can plant almost any time. These baby onion spears offer a quick, rewarding harvest with few pest or disease issues. They mature in just 60 days and make the perfect garnish or flavoring for any meal.

‘Nabechan’ is my favorite for its uniformity and superior flavor. The onions get spicier in hot weather and milder in cool weather. You can mound the soil along the base for more blanching of the lower stalks.

Potatoes

Close-up of freshly picked potato tubers on the soil next to a potato plant in the garden. Potato is a herbaceous perennial plant that grows from an underground tuber. The leaves are large, complex, divided into oval green leaves. Tubers are medium in size, oval, firm, covered with a gray-pinkish skin.
Potatoes thrive in warmth and should be planted in late spring or early summer.
  • Soil Temperature: 50-60°F
  • Seeding Rate: 8-12” between plants and 24-36” between rows
  • Direct Seed in These Zones: Zones 2-7

Most people plant potatoes in the spring, but these nightshade tubers actually enjoy the warmth. They cannot handle temperatures below 55°F. Potatoes are related to sun-loving tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. These starchy tubers are autumn staples that benefit from being established in late spring or early summer.

If you were too busy in May, June is not too late to get a succession of spuds in the ground. Midseason varieties are actually developed specifically for farmers to plant in the summer for later harvests of storage potatoes.

Plant seed potatoes with at least 1 eye (bud) facing up and wait 2 to 4 weeks for them to emerge. When the potatoes are 6-8” tall, begin hilling them up.

Potatoes perform best in areas with mild summers, but they won’t mind heat into the 90s. Southern growers should wait until fall.

Choose faster-maturing varieties like ‘French Fingerling,’ ‘Red Norland,’ or ‘Huckleberry Gold.’ Count 100 days from your planting date to ensure the potatoes have enough time to mature before your expected first fall frost. Avoid long-season potato varieties like ‘Russet’ or ‘Yukon.’

Final Thoughts

June is a freebie month for nearly every growing zone. The soil is warm enough to direct seed any crop that enjoys warmth and long days. The most important thing is maintaining continuous soil moisture when germinating seeds in the garden. Mulches and compost can help retain water while you wait for seeds to emerge.

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A white radish root topped with fresh green leaves is ready to be harvested from the garden bed.

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