In June you’re able to see the bare bones of your garden, as everything from summer starts dying down. So now is the perfect time to start pruning your trees and roses, prepping new sites for your spring orchard and focusing on the vege patch.
The cooler weather is definitely here, and that just means you can start planting those ‘winter warming vege’ such as your broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and pak choi. Start planting those leafy greens like silverbeet, kale and spinach – these vege are rich in minerals and vitamins, which are great for an immunity boost during the cooler months.
You can still have colour in your garden during winter! Flowers such as polyanthus, primulas, pansies and geraniums are all great winter flowers – these are all hardy annuals and add quite a cheery splash of colour to your gardens.
If you’re planting tulips, get them out of the fridge and into the ground as soon as possible so that they start flowering during springtime. If you have any plants that are frost-resistant, move them into a greenhouse or cover them up with frost protection.
For your roses, prune in later winter if possible. Pruning encourages new growth, and if you prune too soon can be damaged by frost. If you’re not sure, the NZ Rose society puts great free demonstrations each year throughout the country, on how to prune. Check their website for dates. Before you do start your pruning, spray your roses with lime sulphur. This helps clear disease (rust, scale, black spot) and sends the rose into a dormant state. If you have any rose leaves lying around pick them up, but don’t add them to your compost pile, as they can spread diseases. For your hydrangeas - just give them a quick prune and don’t cut them back too hard. Pruning these will keep the bush compact. Keep only the healthy stems and remove any older stems at the base.
It’s almost strawberry planting time to ensure your summer supply. If you’re planting new seedlings, remember that they will be most productive in their second year. If you’re already got established strawberry plants, give them a tidy up. Divide your plants, and remove the runners. You do this by keeping the newly grown plants off the runners (the little stems running off that go on to make new plants) closest to your main clump. Remove the other runners and their new plants, and dispose of them or transplant them on to new places in your garden.
Clean those garden tools. They no doubt got a bit of work during the beautiful summer we had. Clean them with soapy water and oil them with some vegetable oil to prevent rust.
Mulch, mulch, mulch! Rake up those autumn leaves, pine needles and comfrey leaves – mix them all together and scatter them around your flowers and vege garden to retain moisture and suppress weeds. See there’s loads to do in your garden during winter! Don’t let the cold weather stop you.