Blackwood's

JUNE IN THE GARDEN

The cold of winter starts to bite this month. Day length shrinks to the lowest levels of the year. Aloes and succulents come to the party and brighten up the landscape. They also provide much needed food resources for birds and insects during the winter month. Feeding and watering birds in the garden is welcomed by our feathered friends during the lean winter period. June is still a great month to be out in the garden; the daytime conditions are near perfect weather.

FLOWERS

  • Dead head flowering plants like poppies and pansies.
  • Continue fertilising with a water soluble plant like 3:1:6.
  • Protect frost sensitive plants like cinerarias.
  • Many annual and perennial seedlings are still ready for planting this month. Petunias are rewarding during the dry months.
  • Watch plants for aphids, especially on young flower buds.

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VEGETABLES

  • This is a lean month in the veggie garden. Most summer vegetables are busy growing or being harvested.
  • Plant small numbers of lettuce at regular intervals, they tend to bolt in the heat.
  • Sow late crops of cucumbers, squashes, pumpkins, maize and beans.
  • Leave part of the garden fallow or sow a green manure crop like marigolds to get the garden ready for autumn planting.
  • Stake tomatoes and runner beans.

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HERBS

  • Plant out or divide horseradish and chives.
  • Continue feeding monthly with liquid, water soluble plant fertiliser.
  • Sow parsley, mustard and rocket seed.
  • The herb garden should be providing plenty of ingredients for hearty winter meals like soups and stews.

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FRUIT

  • Winter ripening citrus and avocados are ready for harvesting.
  • Prune deciduous fruit trees and grape vines once they are completely dormant.
  • Spray the bare stems of pruned trees and vines with lime sulphur to control insect eggs and fungal spores.
  • Young sub-tropical fruit trees may need protection from frost.

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ORNAMENTALS

  • Water the mature trees and shrubs in times of extreme dryness.
  • Keep camellias well watered during their flowering season.
  • Do not prune back spring flowering shrubs in winter as this removes all of next seasons’ flower buds.
  • Move or transplant larger trees or shrubs around the garden. Water well after the transplant at regular intervals until new spring growth appears.
  • Plant lily bulbs.

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ROSES

  • Reduce watering to once a week.
  • Dormant roses can be pruned late in the month. Most experts recommend July pruning.
  • Collect all dead leaves from below the bushes and destroy to prevent the spread of diseases. Do not add to compost heap.

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LAWNS

  • Rake up the last of the fallen leaves.
  • Check for and treat any winter weeds that invade the lawn.
  • Water during extremely dry periods just to keep the grass alive.

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GENERAL MAINTENANCE

  • Winter is the best time for general chores like painting and cleaning.
  • Wash down paved areas.
  • Collect up gravel and wash it before returning it to its position. Put down a new layer of weed guard to prevent their growth amongst the pebbles.
  • Water pots and hanging baskets regularly.

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