Garden tips for June
The fruit and vegetable garden
Gather up fallen leaves or old fruit from beneath feijoas and pip and stone fruit trees to avoid overwintering pest and diseases. Add a layer of mulch around them to limit weed growth.
Don’t forget to harvest! Bok choy, broccoli and spinach and even leeks can run to seed quickly. If there’s plenty ready at once, distribute them round the neighbourhood, or make lots of soup.
Jack Frost can damage passionfruit vines, citrus and tamarillo trees if they’re in an exposed area. Try using liquid frost spray over their foliage or, newspaper or frost cloth are cheap and easy options on still, cold nights.
Order new season’s fruit trees such as apples, pears, plums, and peaches. If space is limited in the garden, check that your desired tree is self-fertile or source one that is grafted with two varieties to ensure it produces fruit.
Garlic is traditionally planted on the shortest day of the year – check that each clove is free of disease and intact before planting.
Thin out carrots, sow radishes and cut down green manure crops once they’ve grown to knee height.
The ornamental garden
Order oriental or Asiatic lily bulbs – they’re an easy- to-grow investment for the garden. Smaller forms are excellent in pots and will re-flower around Christmas time for years and years.
Plants with blackened leaves – ferns, coastal astelias, pukas and renga renga lilies will have been burnt by frost. It’s best to leave damaged top leaves on the plant until spring, to protect the fresh foliage beneath.
Increasingly NZ gardeners are planting leucadendons and proteas from South Africa. Showy in winter, these plants can resist summer heat and seem to cope in wet clay over winter. They’re available from now on, just don’t fertilise, as they don’t like it.
Winter pruning of deciduous trees is best done once the leaves have fallen. Remove lower branches on the trunks if a formal specimen is required, and take out crowded, crossing branches in the centre of the tree.
Now is okay to lift and divide plants if they die right down in winter – delphiniums, hostas and hardy geraniums can be broken up (make sure there’s a piece of root on each segment) and replanted in Garden Mix to create more plants.
Project for June
Getting out of the mud
Muddy areas (including high traffic parts such as driveways) can be dealt with effectively using our NZ made recycled product Jakmat. Tough, UV proof technology and superior engineering makes this the best mat in the business. Fill with your favourite decorative pebble.