June in the Garden
Winter has arrived with longer nights and colder days, but that’s okay – the garden needs the cold for all sorts of reasons. So take the time to stay indoors, cosy up and bring the garden inside with the huge range or indoor plants available here at Lifestyle Home Garden.
While you’re here, we hope you’ll be inspired, get creative and turn your home into an up-to-date indoor haven!
Still a few things to do in the Garden
- Ensure that all tender plants are covered against the frost, either with sheets of frost cover or frost bags. Frost cover will protect plants, while still letting in light, air and water, so it can be left on the plants during the daytime. Remember to also cover tender climbers and your bonsai – we tend to forget those.
- Spread a thick layer of mulch in all beds or top up the existing layer to protect roots against the cold.
- Apply a general garden feed of organic 2:3:2 fertiliser and/or worm castings throughout all garden beds now. Use the same for new plantings and when transplanting. It is high in Phosphorus, which is essential for healthy, strong root formation. It also stimulates general, strong growth and flower, fruit and seed formation. All the good stuff needed for a great spring show!
- Cut down on watering and if you have an irrigation system, ensure that it is programmed for reduced watering now. Most larger shrubs, trees, perennials, climbers and the lawn will only need a good watering every 2 to 3 weeks. However, rose bushes as well as spring flowering Camellias, Azaleas and Magnolias need to be watered weekly to prevent bud-drop.
- Water in the mornings only to allow leaves to dry and the soil to warm up and absorb most of the water by nightfall.
- Winter needn’t be a drab affair. Introduce instant colour with winter seedlings and colour bags. Think pansies, violas, petunias, poppies and calendulas for sunny borders, beds, pots and baskets and Cineraria, primroses and primulas for less sunny spots.
- Feed all winter annuals fortnightly with a liquid fertiliser. Water weekly and regularly deadhead and pick flowers to prolong their flowering time.
- Feed bulbs fortnightly with a liquid fertiliser or bulb food and water deeply once a week. Check plants for aphids and treat with an organic aphicide. Lilium bulbs will be on the shelves during the first week of June and can be planted now for a beautiful spring show.
- Tie sweet peas to trellises or obelisks at regular intervals. Nip side shoots and pick blooms frequently to encourage more flowers. Water copiously.
- Cut back deciduous ornamental grasses like Muhlenbergia, Pennisetum, Miscanthus and Aristida.
- Plant new rose bushes or transplant existing roses now if necessary. Deadhead and water once a week.
- Continue feeding the birds and providing fresh water. June is one of the coldest months and food is hard to find, especially in the city. Birdseed and suet will provide fuel to keep our feathered friends going and warm their bodies.
- Cut down on watering of indoor plants in the cooler weather.
- Feed flowering indoor plants fortnightly with a liquid fertiliser and water when needed.
- The beautiful and dainty Cyclamen is flowering now. In shades of pink, red and white, it will add colour and warmth indoors or outside on a well-protected patio.
- Another winter beauty in flower now is the graceful Cymbidium, available in a variety of colours. Place them indoors in bright light (no direct sunlight) where they will flower all winter long.
Fruit and Veg
- Start pruning deciduous fruit trees and vines from late June while they are dormant to ensure a good crop in the coming season. Water thoroughly.
- Cover young citrus trees with frost protection cloth.
- Water winter veg once a week and feed monthly with an organic 6:3:4 or liquid fertiliser.
- Brassicas are heavy feeders and needs a fortnightly application of a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. They tend to be prone to aphids, so check them regularly and spray immediately, if needed, with an organic aphicide. Interplant with sage to repel white fly and caterpillars.
- You can still sow peas, radishes and turnips. Thin out carrots when needed,
- Continue planting seedlings of Brassica, Swiss chard, peas, chives, leeks, onions, rocket and spring onions. Globe Artichokes can also be planted now and are stunning structural and accent plants to add to the vegetable or ornamental garden.
- Plant seedlings of Asian greens, mustard and winter lettuces in window boxes, pots and planters near the kitchen or on a sunny windowsill for a constant supply of fresh greens for your salads.
- Don’t be afraid to interplant your vegetables with winter annuals like Calendula, Violas, Pansies, Petunias and Dianthus. Not only will they add colour and interest to the patch, pots and planter boxes, but they will also help to repel insect pests and attract beneficial insects.
- Continue staking and guiding peas, broad beans and Brussels sprouts.
- Cut back overgrown evergreen herbs like rosemary and thyme.
- If you have a worm farm, move it to a warmer, protected space as the worms are sensitive to cold.
June is the perfect time to do garden maintenance and hard landscaping:
- Install birdbaths, water features and statues or drain and fix leaky water features and faulty pumps.
- Repair damaged garden tools and service and sharpen pruning tools in preparation for the big prune!
- Construct the paths and lay the paving you’ve been meaning to.
- Fix and paint sheds and fences.
- Find a cosy corner in the wonderful winter sun and work on ideas and plans for next season.
SUNDAY, 19 JUNE is FATHER’S DAY! Whether the dad in your life is a keen gardener, a bonsai buff, a DIY enthusiast or likes to have a say in the décor and styling of your home, we’re sure to have a gift to make him feel appreciated.
If you’re not a winter baby, don’t fret… Winter Solstice (on the 21st of June) is just around the corner. That’s when we start tipping over here in the South… days get a wee bit longer and we, slowly but surely, start moving towards spring. Now isn’t that something to look forward to!