Garden Care in June
What to Do:
Winter is here! For some people the cold weather is cause for celebration whilst for others it is cause for consternation. It’s the same in your garden as some plants will rest and go dormant while others thrive. Harvest leeks, Brussel sprouts (from the bottom upwards), carrots, parsnips and cabbages.
It is the ideal time to do some of those garden chores that you have been putting off like treating timber benches, furniture and decks by sanding them down and sealing them with a preservative. Checking and repairing fences, sheds and walls. Cleaning and repairing garden tools and investing in a new pair of gardening gloves!
Roses don’t look their best at this time of the year with few leaves left and only minor flowers hanging on. If you live in a frost free area you can start to prune your roses in June but if you are in cold and frosted area wait until the 1st -2nd week in July.
You wouldn’t want to be left out in the cold so move tender plants indoors or to a greenhouse. For those tender plants that cannot be brought indoors, protect them against falling night temperatures with a light fleece covering or even hessian.
Be sure to mulch your flower beds with compost. This will give them some much needed protection from the cold this winter by keeping soil temperatures up. It will also stop the moisture in your soil from evaporating to quickly so you will have to water less.
What to Plant:
June is the month to plant a new rose garden or add more varieties to your existing collection! By planting new roses now, you give them a good chance to get established throughout winter and ready for solid growth and flowering into spring. Pick a mix of colours and aromatic roses and place them in a well prepared garden bed. Feed them a good rose fertiliser such as Wonder Vitaliser Rose & Flower 8:1:5 (17) + C (8) SR* for roses. Also make sure you mulch well. Don’t mulch too close to the stem, leave about a 15-30cm gap all the way around. This will help keep moisture close to the young plants but will also help to fight off frost in cold areas.
When it comes to edibles, cool season varieties such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, beetroot, lettuce, turnips, Brussel sprouts, Oriental vegetables, celery, parsley, peas, spinach and leeks are still available as seedlings. Pop into your nearest accredited garden centre and see what they have available.
In winter, you would expect a colourless garden but quite the contrary … you can add an array of colour by planting seedlings like pansies, violas, primula, primrose, calendula, stocks, sweatpea, gazania, bokbaai vygies, poppy, bellis, snapdragons and alyssum.
What to Sow:
Even though the temperatures are plummeting, there are still a few seeds that can brave the cold. Look out for squash, parsley and garlic chives as well as flowers like African daisies, alyssum and sweetpeas.
Ensure that the ground is covered with a layer of mulch, old newspaper, or straw to protect it from frost in the very cold areas. When watering always do so later in the morning when the ground has warmed up and avoid watering in the afternoon.
In warmer areas and frost free areas root vegetables, peas, cauliflower and cabbage can be planted.
Watch out for snails eating new shoots, especially on emerging bulbs. Sprinkle some Snailban or Sluggem pellets around.
Tackle ants as soon as they appear, before they have a chance to breed and cause more damage. There is a wide range of suitable products available from your local accredited garden centres to stop ants in their tracks, such as Ant Dust or Ant Free for example.
Watch out for fungal diseases like rust and black spot on your roses, pelargoniums and geraniums. Spray the entire plant (under the leaves too) with a fungicide like Dithane M45 or Fungi Free.
Keep spraying conifers with koinor or Ludwig’s organic insecticide and be on the lookout for Red Spider Mites / Aphids.
During winter it is very important that you get on top of your weed situation. If you don’t get on top of them in winter, they will spread because the extra water available will allow them to really thrive. This can cause them to move into new areas of your garden that may have previously been free from weeds. You can find a wide range of broadleaf weed killers like Banweed MCPA, Hormoban APM and Turfweeder APM at your local garden centre.
What to Feed:
3:1:5 fertiliser is a must this time of the year to feed, not only your lawn but your rose bushes and azaleas too. Just make sure you water the lawn well after you have fertilised.
Make sure you keep your winter vegetables well fertilised. Wondersol All Purpose and Seagro liquid fertilisers are well balanced with macro and micro elements and will provide all the necessary nutrition your plants will need. Follow the directions on the labels for application.
Generally it is best to apply a liquid fertiliser to your winter vegetables every two weeks. This will help your veggies to grow fast and give you a solid yield.
Continue fertilising established winter flowering annuals like pansies, cinerarias, primulas and petunias on a fortnightly basis with a balanced liquid fertilizer.