JUNE IN THE GARDEN
The cold of winter starts to bite this month. Day length shrinks to the lowest levels of the year, with the winter solstice in the latter part of the month. Conifers and evergreen shrubs maintain the structure of the winter garden in colder climates. In warmer regions, winter is filled with flowers and colourful foliage. In most gardens, 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 best described as near perfect weather.
- Dead head flowering plants like poppies, petunias and pansies. This promotes new flowers and a longer blooming season.
- Continue fertilising flowering annuals with a water-soluble plant food with a 3:1:6 formulation.
- Protect frost sensitive plants in the colder climes.
- Many annual and perennial seedlings are still ready for planting this month. Petunias are particularly rewarding during the dry months.
- It’s still a good time for planting mixed hanging baskets with a selection of different flowering annuals. They will perform right through the spring season.
- Watch plants for aphids, especially on young flower buds and new foliage.
- Try growing edible flowers like pansies, violas and dianthus.
- Water the veggie garden with water soluble plant food at least every 2 weeks.
- Continue planting out seedlings like globe artichokes, asparagus, leeks, celery and all of the cabbage family.
- Harvest ripe crops like peas and broad beans.
- Continue to sow successive crops of carrots, radish, parsnips and turnips.
- In warmer areas, continue sowing spring and summer crops like beans and baby marrows.
- Dispose of spent plants like cauliflowers and broccoli by pulling out the plants and adding to the compost heap.
- 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.
- Winter ripening citrus and avocados are ready for harvesting.
- Collect and dispose of all fallen and rotting fruit from beneath trees.
- 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 winter frost.
- Water established mature trees and shrubs in times of extreme dryness.
- Keep camellias well-watered during their flowering season. Dry root zones can cause bud drop.
- Start spraying azalea flower buds with a fungicide as they start to swell during winter. This helps to combat petal blight when they bloom in a few weeks’ time.
- 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 and then at regular intervals until new spring growth appears and the rains begin.
- Plant out new lily (lilium) bulbs. Protect them from moles.
- Enjoy winter flowering plants like camellias, Japanese flowering quince and hellebores.
- Check aloes for pests and diseases and treat accordingly.
- Colourful filler plants in season now – lobularia, scabious, verbena, brachyscome, nemesia.
- 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.
- 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.
- Water winter evergreen lawn grasses. Mow lightly to keep leaf blade length even.
- Winter is the best time for general chores like painting and cleaning.
- Wash down paved areas.
- Collect up gravel and wash it before returning back to its position. Put down a new layer of weed guard to keep the gravel clean and prevent their growth amongst the pebbles.
- Water pots and hanging baskets regularly. Fertilise every two weeks at the same time.
- Keep bird baths and other suitable drinking places like ponds and water features clean and fresh.
Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.