It's time to: Temperate gardens in June
After a big growing season, early winter offers an opportunity to restore a little order.
Sharpen those secateurs and get ready, because it's time to whip things into shape in the temperate garden this June.
Grevillea 'Peaches & Cream'.
The large-flowered hybrid grevilleas such as ‘Peaches and Cream’, pictured above, ‘Ned Kelly’, ‘Superb’ and ‘Sylvia’ are at their peak in June. These shrubs make gorgeous winter colour and offer nectar-rich blooms for bird.
Trim the flowered steams of hydrangea back to a pair of plump healthy buds. Leave any canes that didn’t flower this year as these will bloom in summer. Make hardwood cuttings from the off-cuts.
Remove weeds, such as chick weed or petty spurge, which can shelter pests and diseases over winter. Vigilance now will pay off in reduced problems in spring.
Choose a camellia while they are in full bloom. Narrow down the huge range by selecting for flower colour and form, and shrub size and habit. Many varieties suit containers for use by balcony and courtyard gardeners. Choose wisely as you’ll enjoy these long-lived winter beauties for years to come.
Hit snails and slugs hard before they devour emerging bulbs and flower seedlings. Use beer traps or pet-safe baits, or collect snails at night or in the early morning and feed them to the chooks.
Divide up large clumps of perennials, such as Shasta, Michaelmas daisy, Salvia and Penstemon to prevent overcrowding. Lift the clump using a garden fork, the shake off some soil, separate the clump with a knife or your fingers then replant some sections into the garden and the rest into pots to share with gardening friends.
Reduce watering for indoor and sub-tropical outdoor plants. Soggy cold roots can set these plants back over winter, so keep them on the dryer side and use water sparingly.
Protect tender plants from frost damage using frost cloth. Make simple supports using stakes or wire and attach the lightweight cloth. Fortnightly applications of seaweed solution will also help protect against cold stress.