11 Crops You’d Be Silly Not To Plant in June!

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Gardening in June offers a wonderful opportunity to grow a variety of crops.

As spring transitions to summer, gardeners can still plant and enjoy many types of vegetables.

This month marks the perfect time to start incorporating both heat-resistant and heat-loving plants into your backyard or container garden.

One vegetable to consider is mizuna, also known as Japanese mustard, which does well in warmer temperatures.

Another great option is blackeyed peas, which thrive even in hot and humid conditions.

For those in areas like Chicago, June is the ideal month to plant peppers, as these require consistently warm temperatures.

Finally, cassava, a staple crop in tropical climates, can also be introduced to your garden, provided you live in a suitable zone.

Each of these crops brings unique benefits and flavors, making them excellent additions to any garden.

Key Takeaways

  • June is a good month to plant mizuna, which handles heat well.
  • Blackeyed peas thrive in hot, humid weather and can be direct-seeded.
  • Peppers and cassava are also ideal crops for warm summer planting.
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Seasonal Gardening Tips for June

Planting in June can still bring beautiful crops to the garden.

During this month, several plants can handle the increasing heat and humidity well, making it an ideal time to start new growth.

Here are some great options:

Mizuna (Japanese Mustard):

  • Family: Brassica.
  • Climate: Does well in hot weather.
  • Harvesting: Best harvested young.
  • Preparation: Can be steamed, sautéed, or eaten fresh.

Simple to grow, mizuna can be direct-seeded or started in trays and transplanted.

It has a mild flavor compared to other mustards, making it versatile in the kitchen.

Blackeyed Peas:

  • Other Names: Crowder peas, cow peas.
  • Varieties: Pinkeye Purple Hull, California Blackeye No. 5.
  • Support: May need trellises.
  • Companion Planting: Works well with peppers.

These peas thrive in June’s heat and humidity. Direct seeding is recommended, and they can handle dry conditions, making them low-maintenance.

Peppers:

  • Ideal Temperatures: Daytime 70-80°F, Nighttime 60-70°F.
  • Container Growing: 7-gallon grow bags work well.
  • Support: Necessary due to wind and fruit weight.

Peppers flourish when moved to the garden in June.

They are well-suited for small spaces and can be grown in containers with proper support.

Cassava:

  • Other Names: Yuca.
  • Propagation: Stem cuttings.
  • Planting: Use brown woody stems with close nodes, planted at a 45° angle.
  • Frost-Free Requirement: Needs 6-11 frost-free months.

An easy-to-grow staple, cassava produces large yields with minimal care.

It’s important to plan the harvest carefully due to its quick tendency to rot after being dug up.

Table of Key Planting Tips:

PlantIdeal ConditionsPropagation MethodKey Tips
MizunaHot weatherDirect seed or transplantHarvest young, mild flavor.
Blackeyed PeasHeat and humidity, dry conditionsDirect seedMay need support, companion with peppers.
Peppers70-80°F (day), 60-70°F (night)TransplantUse containers, provide support.
Cassava6-11 frost-free months requiredStem cuttingsPlan harvest precisely, leave tubers in soil until ready.

By focusing on these specific plants, even the hottest months can be a productive time in the garden.

Growing Mizuna

What Is Mizuna?

Mizuna, also known as Japanese mustard, is a leafy green vegetable that is part of the Brassica family. This group includes well-known vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.

Mizuna has a milder taste compared to other mustard greens, making it a versatile addition to various dishes.

You can enjoy it raw in salads, lightly steamed, or sautéed.

Benefits of Planting Mizuna in June

June is an excellent month to plant mizuna, especially if you live in a region with increasing summer heat.

Unlike some greens that struggle in hot weather, mizuna can handle the warmth and even thrives in these conditions.

Mizuna matures quickly, so you can harvest it as a baby green.

Its mild flavor and ability to grow in the heat make it an excellent choice for your summer garden.

How to Grow Mizuna

Growing mizuna is straightforward and can be done in a few simple steps:

  1. Direct Sowing: Place seeds about 4-5 inches apart, with a couple of seeds in each hole.
  2. Transplanting: Start seeds in a tray and transplant them when ready.
  3. Soil and Spacing: Mizuna prefers well-drained soil. Ensure that plants have enough room to grow by giving each plant ample space.
  4. Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.
  5. Harvesting: You can begin to harvest mizuna when the leaves are small and tender.

The plant’s ability to withstand heat and its quick growth cycle make it a simple yet rewarding crop for any gardener to try.

Growing Blackeyed Peas

Types and Planting

Blackeyed peas are a heat-loving plant suitable for summer gardens.

There are various types, such as the Peak Eye Purple Hull and California Black Eye Number Five.

These peas can be sown directly into the garden during the warm summer months.

They thrive in dry conditions and do not require much water, making them easy to maintain.

When planting, space the seeds properly to give them room to grow, and occasionally provide support if they start to vine.

Partnering with Peppers

Peppers and blackeyed peas both enjoy hot and humid weather.

Planting them close together can be beneficial for both crops.

This companion planting takes advantage of their similar growing needs, allowing them to flourish together in the garden.

This method works well for maximizing garden space and ensuring both plants get the right conditions for growth.

Collection Strategy

The strategy for harvesting blackeyed peas is straightforward.

Allow the peas to grow until the end of the season when they will be fully dry.

Once they are ready, you can harvest a good batch of blackeyed peas. This ensures you have a plentiful crop to enjoy and store.

Growing Peppers in Chicago

Ideal Time for Planting Peppers

In Chicago (Zone 6A), June marks the ideal time to transplant pepper seedlings outdoors.

By this month, there’s minimal risk of unexpected cold snaps that could harm these heat-loving plants.

Peppers thrive in daytime temperatures between 70° and 80°F and nighttime temperatures between 60° and 70°F.

Growing Peppers in Containers

For gardeners with limited space, peppers can be successfully grown in containers.

A 7-gallon grow bag provides enough space for one pepper plant.

It’s beneficial to provide support structures because wind and the weight of developing fruit can cause branches to break.

Choosing Pepper Varieties

Selecting which pepper varieties to grow is crucial, especially for those with limited garden space.

Opt for varieties that are frequently used and enjoyed.

For example, gardeners who prefer sweet peppers over spicy ones may choose to grow only sweet pepper varieties.

These are not only delicious but can be enjoyed fresh straight from the plant.

Growing Cassava

Knowing Cassava

Cassava, also known as yuca, is a starchy tuber widely eaten in tropical regions.

This crop yields high amounts of food and grows quickly. If you’ve enjoyed tapioca, you’ve tasted cassava.

Propagating by Stem Cutting

Cassava grows from stem cuttings.

Use around 12-inch pieces from brown, woody stems. Ensure nodes are close together for higher yields.

Plant cuttings at a 45-degree angle, burying them about three-quarters of the way in the soil.

Place each cutting 3 feet apart for ample space.

Leaves will start to grow about 1-2 weeks after planting.

Planting and Spacing

Space cuttings 3 feet apart to allow room for growth. This spacing ensures each plant can develop fully, producing a significant abundance of tubers.

Climate Zones and Growth Requirements

Cassava thrives in zones warmer than Zone 8, requiring 6 to 11 frost-free months.

It likes regular watering and average soil but can tolerate drought and poor soil conditions. Better soil and more water result in better production.

Harvest and Processing Tips

Do not harvest cassava until you are ready to process it. After harvest, the tubers can rot in a few days.

Options include freezing, grating and drying into flour, or eating fresh. Leave tubers in the soil until needed, as the soil acts like natural storage.