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Mountain Gardening: What to Do in June

June is a busy time in the garden, even at high elevations. Prioritize your time this month, before the heat of summer arrives, with these gardening to-dos:

Plant edibles. Setting out small plants rather than starting from seeds is a good way to jump-start vegetables. Once the last frost date has passed and the soil has warmed, you can safely plant warm-season crops like cucumbers, summer squash, beans, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, and corn.

Plant annuals and perennials. Flowers offer color, form, texture, and fragrance to your garden. As a food source, they attract butterflies, birds, and other winged creatures. Container gardens can be a great way to bring beauty to the location where they're most needed, such as an area with shallow, rocky soil or dense tree roots.

Plant shrubs and trees. If your goal is to add some structure to your garden, then June is an ideal time to invest in woody plants, particularly broadleaf evergreens. Early summer planting gives them a good start on developing new root growth and becoming established before winter.

Primp. Remove the spent flowers from spring-blooming plants. Deadheading the plant will not only make it look better but will also keep it from forming seeds. Deadhead by snipping the flower and a bit of the stem off. Make your cut just above a leaf node.

Mulch. In June, as the soil warms and your plants are actively growing, it's a good time to make sure that you have a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch throughout your planting beds. Mulch will help conserve moisture, stabilize temperatures, reduce soil erosion and compaction, and prevent weed growth.

The best selection of all garden plants and mulch is now available at your local garden center. Make the above tasks a priority this month so you can have fun the rest of the summer!


Chilvers, Jocelyn H., "Rocky Mountain Gardener: What to Do in June," houzz (blog), June 1, 2012,

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