It’s nearly time to prune your roses. Depending on where you live late June to mid-August is when to prune. If you’ve never pruned roses before we highly recommend attending one of the NZ Rose Society’s free demonstrations. Go here for a list of all the locations and dates.
Before you prune, spray your roses with lime sulphur - this knocks off all the leaves and sends them into a dormant state. It also gets rid of diseases like rust, scale and black spot.
Next, it’s time to tidy up your asparagus and strawberry patches. Unpicked asparagus spears grow into ferns which can get over a metre tall. Once the ferns are completely brown and dry, trim them off at ground level and put in your compost bin. Weed your bed and mulch it to stop weeds germinating. When the new spears start emerging in early spring or when the weather starts to warm up, you can start applying liquid fertiliser.
Now on to your strawberries. Now’s the time to divide your strawberry plants and remove the runners. Your main plant won't fruit forever so it's important for it to grow new plants to keep producing a fresh supply of fruit. But it's equally as important to remove the surplus runners/new plants so they don't compete for nutrients from the soil with your main patch. Here's how to do it: split your strawberries and keep the new plant off the runner (the little stems running off that go on to make new plants) closest to your main clump. Remove the other runners and new plants and dispose of them or grow your strawberry supply by planting them elsewhere in the garden. If you don’t have a strawberry patch or you need to replace your old plants, now’s also the time to plant new strawberry seedlings. Remember, your strawberry plants will be most productive in their second year.
June is a good time to plant your garlic. The general rule of thumb is plant on the shortest day of the year (21 June) and harvest on the longest day (21 December). But any time from May until end of July is fine.
It's also a good month to plant native trees while the soil is nice and wet but not too boggy from winter.
And now for maintenance. The weather is getting cooler now - so remember to check your cauliflowers aren't getting hit by the frost, and fold over their leaves to protect them.
If you've already planted your broad beans, check they aren't falling over. If they are, stake them by putting a stake at each end of your crop and wrapping string around them all.
Don’t forget to cut all the leaves off your heleborus, otherwise known as winter roses - this will help produce taller flower stems.
Watch out for slugs and snails. If you're having problems with these slimy pests, try using beer bait.