June Gardening Tasks
June Gardening Tasks
Winter has now fully arrived, bringing cold temperatures, cloudy days, and rain. On the bright side, vegetables planted in early autumn should now be ready harvest, and parts of the country are adorned with blooming camellias and azaleas.
Many of our beloved houseplants, like philodendrons, come from warm tropical regions so should be kept warm over the colder months. Some houseplants may need to be moved to a new spot that receives good winter light. Reduce watering frequency by at least half, using lukewarm water only. Cyclamens, one of the most popular winter houseplants can be placed outside every few weeks to "freshen up".
Vegetables to harvest include broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, leeks, lettuce, parsnips, radishes, silverbeet and spinach.
The challenge in the winter vegetable garden is to prevent the soil from becoming too wet, which causes vegetable growth to slow. Keep adding fresh Daltons Garden Time™ Compost around developing winter vegetables and break up the soil gently when it becomes compacted. Always improve the soil with fresh compost before planting and raising your planting beds is recommend during winter to help with drainage. If excess water in winter is a problem, additional drainage may be needed.
Classic winter annuals like alyssum, calendula, cornflower, cyclamen, lobelia, pansy, primulas, polyanthus, poppy, snapdragon, stock, and violas will begin blooming.
Before planting out any new flowering annuals, prepare your flower beds with compost and make sure they're positioned in full winter sun for maximum growth. Regularly dead head finished flowers to encourage more blooms. During winter, the soil doesn't dry out as much, so be mindful not to overwater your plants.
Complete pruning of your stone fruit trees like plums, nectarines, and peaches, and move on to your apples and pear trees. For younger trees, prune to develop main and fruiting limbs that will provide a future fruit-bearing framework. Older fruit trees will need more detailed pruning, such as reducing the height to enable easier picking and maintenance such as spraying. Trim off cluttered inward facing growth and promote the production of two-year-old fruit-bearing wood.
Citrus trees, like limes, lemons, and satsuma mandarins, are now ripe and ready for harvesting. Don't forget to keep picking any remaining kiwi fruit!
It’s been a tough season for roses with many tackling diseases such as blackspot and rust. Towards the end of June/early July, after the leaves have fallen and flowering has finished, start pruning your roses. Remove all small, twiggy growth and inward-growing branches, as well as shortening the main branches by cutting to an outward-facing node. Don't be afraid to prune quite hard as roses are quite vigorous growers.
To prevent reinfection of diseases in spring, collect all pruning's and leaf litter in the rose garden and dispose of them properly (not in the compost bin!). After pruning is complete, finish with a spray of copper oxychloride. Start planting any new roses, making sure you prepare the soil well.
Winter is a quieter time for the herb garden since many of them hail from warmer regions. But you can keep grow them in containers as potting mix tends to stay warmer than garden soil, giving your plants a better chance to thrive. Place the containers in a near the kitchen outdoors or on the kitchen windowsill for easy access when cooking – make sure it’s a warm spot with plenty of sunshine.
As the winter sets in, grass growth slows down you may only need to mow once every four to five weeks. Avoid mowing during periods of heavy rain or when the lawn is too wet. Keep an eye on areas that are excessively waterlogged as they may need additional drainage to be installed over summer.
Ornamental trees and shrubs
June and July are the best months for planting ornamental trees and shrubs in the home garden. Choose fresh, new, healthy specimens, as old plants are often root bound and may not grow as well. Plan plantings carefully and look for varieties that thrive in your region.
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Caring for Cyclamens
I have a Cyclamen which I put outside under a bush when it died off. To my delight it has two fresh healthy leaves, so I have re-potted it and put it on the table in the conservatory. What care should I give it?
Looking after a Cyclamen after Re-potting
I have a Cyclamen which I put outside under a bush when it died off. To my delight, it has two fresh healthy leaves, so I have re-potted it and put it on the table in the conservatory. What care should I give it - will it be happy in the warm conservatory or in a cooler area and do I water it from the top of the pot or the saucer. Thank you, your advice would be appreciated as it’s the first Cyclamen I have grown.
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I’m a bit of a novice and need some help! I have a few houseplants that are looking like they are in desperate need of TLC. We are away most weekends and I lose track of under watering/over watering. PS: Is there somewhere you can drop plants in for rehab or someone who can help bring them back to life?