Tips: June in the Garden

Winter is setting in and your garden now has time to have a rest, but there are still jobs to be done!  The big thing in the garden this month is pruning and cutting back you herbaceous plants, but before you get started make sure your tools are sharp and maintained.

Cut back any grape vines and creepers and start pruning your deciduous shrubs, roses and cottage plants.  Hold off until the end of June for those plants that flower this month to ensure you don’t miss out on any added colour.  You should start seeing some healthy new shoots emerging at the base of your sedums, lilium philippinense and euphorbias.  If you don’t like looking at the seed heads and the steams are starting to get a little strawy, cut the plant back to the base.

It’s the perfect time to plant some bare-rooted, deciduous fruit trees such as Apricots, Peachs, Mulberries, Pears and Apples.  Planting a crop now will give the trees enough time to establish before the heat arrives in Summer.  Make sure you look out for the trees with a nice form already.

Keep up with the liquid fertilizer and if you haven’t already, top up the mulch on your veggie patches, herb gardens and ornamental beds. This well assist with reducing the spread over weeds after all the rain.

Speaking of rain, it is important you check your watering systems and reduce the amount of hand watering.  In most situations it’s time to switch off your irrigation within the garden and keep it off until early Spring.  Cold and wet plants are much more likely to attract diseases like root rot and drown this time of year.

In your veggie patch, it’s time to start sowing your onions.  Start the seeds off in tubs or pots and move into your veggie garden when they are a good size.  Asparagus, Broad beans, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Rhubarb, Snow peas, Spinach and Strawberries are great additions to your patch this month.  Stick to planting the hardier herbs that won’t suffer with the morning frosts such as Italian parsley, rosemary, thyme and coriander.

Don’t let the cold stop you from getting out and about around Melbourne.  The Royal Botanic Gardens have some great events during June such as a guided tour of Guilfoyle’s Garden on the 19th & 28th.  And the kids won’t miss out either, with a ‘Secrets of the Garden’ event being held on June 30th in parts of the Australian garden at Cranbourne.