• Ensure that all tender plants are covered against the frost, either with sheets of frost cover or frost bags. Frost cover will protect your tender plants, while still letting in light, air and water, so it can be left on your plants during the daytime. Remember to also cover any tender climbers and your bonsai you may have.
• Apply a general garden feed like 2:3:2 fertiliser or worm castings throughout all your 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 with flower, fruit and seed formation. Perfect to give you a great spring show!
• Look at spreading a thick layer of mulch in all beds or top up the existing layer to protect roots against the cold.
• Look at reducing on your watering and if you have an irrigation system, ensure that it is programmed for reduced watering now, along with the watering to only take place in mid morning which allows the leaves to dry and soil to warm up before nightfall. Most larger shrubs, trees, perennials, climbers and the lawn will only need a good watering every 2 to 3 weeks. However your rose bushes as well as spring flowering Camellias, Azaleas and Magnolias need to be watered weekly to prevent bud-drop.
• Feed all your 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, for example Bio neem.
• Winter doesn’t need to be a drab affair. Look at introducing instant colour with winter seedlings and colour bags. Ornamental kale in purple, pink, green and cream are striking if planted en masse along borders. Bring in yellow and orange for warmth with hardy Gazanias, Pansies, and Primroses.
• Tie sweet peas to trellises or obelisks at regular intervals. Nip side shoots and pick blooms frequently to encourage more flowers. Water copiously.
• You can now cut back your deciduous ornamental grasses like Pennisetum, Miscanthus and Aristida.
• Plant new rose bushes or transplant existing roses now if necessary this is the perfect time which will allow them to settle in with minimal strain on the plant. 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. It’s easy to attract more birds to your garden with the bird food and feeders we offer at Tuingenoot.
• Cut down on watering of indoor plants in the cooler weather.
• Feed flowering indoor plants fortnightly with a liquid fertilizer such as seagro or Nitrosol and water when needed.
• Cyclamens are flowering now. In shades of pinks, red and white, it will add colour and warmth to your indoors or outside on a well-protected patio.
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. Also water thoroughly.
• Cover your young citrus trees with frost cover, giving your juvenile plants the protection they need.
• Water winter veg once a week and feed monthly with an organic fertiliser like flower power, gwano pellets 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, it neem oil. Also look at interplanting with sage to repel white fly and caterpillars.
• 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 plants to add to the garden.
• Plant seedlings of 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.
• Cut back your 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 do.