Gardening in June
It may be winter but…
There is still plenty to do in the garden this month, even if a chilly breeze is blowing and the sun isn’t giving much warmth. Early morning may be frosty but that soon burns off after sunrise. The days are often near-perfect for getting stuck into some of the many chores that need to be done now.
The benefits are many - good exercise that not only improves your fitness but keeps you warm, and the garden looks better too. Looking good this month are Sasanqua camellias – think about planting one or two next spring to give your early winter garden a splash of colour.
What to plant now:
Deciduous fruit trees such as pears and apples can be planted now as they will still be dormant, and in the flower garden pansies, polyanthas and new season roses will be in stock in garden centres.
- Seasonal flowers:
Bloomer pots of pansies, violas, bellis, calendulas, cinerarias, cornflowers, polyanthus and primulas should be planted early in the month in cool to temperate areas. In warm temperate areas marigolds, impatiens, delphiniums, Iceland poppies, polyanthus, snapdragons and sweet peas will all do well.
- Winter and spring vegetables:
Keep planting beetroot, brassicas, peas, leafy greens, thyme and rosemary.
The Vegetable Patch:
Some of the early autumn veggie plantings may be starting to crop now - look for tender Brussels sprouts, cabbages, kale and cauliflowers, Silver beet, spinach, mesclun, lettuce, cabbage, bok choi, broccoli, celery, onions, leek, parsley, radish, rocket and rhubarb.
What to plant now:
Winter is all about garlic planting! Traditionally it's planted on the shortest day of the year and harvested on the longest.
- Bok choi
Veggie patch tips for June:
- Keep veggie crops healthy and growing well with applications of a liquid fertiliser for vegetables and herbs or a certified organic fertiliser once a month.
- Water deeply at least once a week if the weather is dry.
- In cold areas, add a layer of mulch over the soil to keep it warm and minimise effects of frost.
- If a severe frost occurs, hose plants off before sunrise to prevent burning of leaves.
- Hand pull or hoe out weeds as they appear – they compete for nutrients and moisture and may also harbour pests that could attack your crops.
- Use snail and slug traps or baits to protect plants and crops as they develop.
Fruit & Flower Beds:
Fruits to harvest now:
In cool and cold climates, most fruits are now in their dormant season, apart perhaps from a few late limes or lemons.
What fruit to plant:
From mid-month onwards, deciduous fruit trees will start appearing in garden centres and other gardening outlets. It's also still a good time to plant berries.
What flowers to plant:
Bare-root roses are available this month. Prepare planting holes with a slight mound in the centre over which the roots should be spread. Check plants are put in no deeper than the soil mark on the stem - graft or bud unions should be well clear of the soil. Back-fill and water in well to settle soil around the roots. Don’t add fertiliser while the plants are dormant. Some further pruning after planting is recommended, despite having already been cut back.
- Flowering kale
- Sweet William
Garden jobs for the month:
- Keep flower seedlings growing well with regular applications of an all purpose fertiliser.
- Clean and sharpen your garden tools, especially secateurs, loppers and pruning saws so they are ready for action in winter.
- Clean out the garden pond – remove leaf debris, repot water plants (waterlilies, iris, etc), add a water conditioner (remove fish first!) and tidy up the plants around the edges. Add a good handful of garden lime per square metre to empty garden beds to “sweeten” the soil. DO NOT add lime around acid-loving plants like azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons or magnolias – they will react badly!
- Sow a “green manure” crop of oats, peas and field lupins in empty vegetable beds; dig it in to add nitrogen to the soil when about 300-400mm in height.
- Check garden beds under the eaves or in other protected spots to ensure they have not become too dry; water if required.
- Plants inside the home assist in purifying the air as well as lending a touch of greenery to your living areas.
- Keep plants out of draughts and away from heaters and air conditioners that can dry the atmosphere.
- If your house is at a comfortable temperature for you, then it will be perfect for your plants too. Place a saucer or bowl of water near your plants to humidify the air.
- Keep leaves clean by wiping occasionally with a damp cloth (no detergents or oils, please!) to remove dust and dirt that can affect photosynthesis.
- Keep them growing well with ready to use Osmocote Pour+Feed Indoor Plants – no mixing required.
Over winter the lawn will benefit from a bit of TLC.
- If grassed areas stay wet after moderate to heavy rain, you may need to install a drainage system. See May’s notes for detail.
- Watch for moss in shady, moist areas of lawn. A solution of iron sulfate (30 grams in 4.5L of water) applied as a spray or with the watering will help control it. Re-apply if necessary.
- Apply a generous handful of garden lime per square metre a week or so after mowing, and allow rainfall to take it down into the soil. Don’t mow for at least a week or two after liming.
- Chewing pests can destroy your plants overnight if not controlled. Use a general garden insecticide like pyrethrum to control them. Don’t forget to spray the undersides of leaves too.
- Watch for the caterpillars of the White Cabbage Butterfly on cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and other brassicas. Pyrethrum will assist or try a cabbage dust
- Slugs and snails can be active over Winter - Garden Galore Quash Slug & Snail Stoppa in a bait trap will protect your plants and keep your pets safe.