Downtime may seem like a good idea, but creating an abundant winter garden is even more rewarding. Planting an indigenous garden, attracting birds and other wildlife, and neatening up your garden should be at the top of your list this month.
Spotlight on: Creating an indigenous garden
Low-maintenance and water-wise, aloes and other indigenous shrubs and trees come to life this season with spectacular flowers and dramatic foliage. This is why you should invest in an indigenous garden:
- Because indigenous plants are grown in their preferred conditions, they are generally hardy and practical plants that require little maintenance.
- Although not all indigenous plants are water-wise, many of them are. As gardeners, we need to be more aware of environmental responsibilities and recognise the value of water conservation.
- Indigenous trees and shrubs are known to attract birds to your garden that help to manage insect infestations naturally. Ensure you have a bird feeder and water station to encourage visits from feathery friends.
ON YOUR TO-DO LIST FOR JUNE
Plant & Sow
- Add colour to your garden with winter-flowering plants such as pansies, stocks, dianthus, petunia and daffodils.
- Plant lobelia, primula and foxgloves in shady areas of your garden.
- Now’s the time to harvest winter veggies such as leeks, carrots, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, cabbage and peas. Tip: When harvesting Brussels sprouts, remove the lower sprouts first while you wait for the top sprouts to mature.
- Once you’ve harvested, refresh your garden by planting cabbage, cauliflower, leeks, onions, celery and globe artichokes in your vegetable garden.
- Plant fruit trees such as flowering peaches, plums and crab apples. They will settle their roots in the ground ahead of the spring growing season.
- Add fynbos to your indigenous garden. Popular varieties include Leucospermum (pincushion), ericas and Leucadendrons.
- Plant camellia varieties, cymbidium orchids and gardenia in semi-shaded areas.
Prune & Trim
- Prune vines, plum, peach, apple, pear and apricot trees at the end of June and spray with Efekto Oleum. Use only on plants that have become completely dormant.
- Remove old flower stalks and stringy stems from focal plants such as flax (phormium), cordylines, penstemons and aloes.
- Clean and repair garden tools, especially pruning tools such as secateurs, hedging shears, clippers, saws and mowing blades.
- Neaten up pathways and paving.
- Refurbish old pots and water features.
- Fix wooden garden furniture such as benches, bridges and trellises.
- Check staking of plants and ensure their ties are not too tight.
- Mulch garden beds with compost or mulch.
- Feed citrus trees with Atlantic Fertilisers Fruit & Flower.
- Feed garden beds with Atlantic Fertilisers Bio Ocean.
- Evergreen lawns require a 5:1:5 feeding of Kirchhoffs Ludwig’s Vigorosa.
- Treat cypress aphids on conifer varieties every four weeks with Efekto insecticide granules.
- Look out for mealy bugs in sheltered areas of the garden and treat with Efekto Malasol insecticide.
- Keep an eye out for Australian bugs in sheltered areas of the garden and treat with Efekto Malasol.
- Treat aphids with Kirchhoffs Ludwig’s Insect Spray+ Organic Insecticide.
OTHER FRESH IDEAS
- Add water-retention granules to your potting soil or break up floral foam and mix with your potting medium to prevent your hanging basket from drying out too fast.
- Since hanging baskets are watered regularly, they lose nutrients in the soil faster than usual. Add a slow-release fertiliser such as Atlantic All-Purpose to the soil when you plant, and feed plants with a liquid fertiliser such as Multifeed Flower Grow once a week.