Welcome to our notes for June, it’s hard to believe that it’s winter and we’re halfway through the year already!
The skies have finally opened, and we’ve had some reasonable falls this past week, but do keep an eye on pots etc. that may be under the leaves or somewhat protected, they will still need to be watered.
Night-time temperatures have certainly fallen and as a result, the soil temperature has also decreased. This means that the planting of some plants, citrus in particular, should now be put on hold until spring when the ground has warmed up again. You can certainly still purchase plants now, in fact, it will mean that you don’t miss out as popular varieties become harder to find later on but keep them in their pots in a warm spot until planting time. There are plenty of other crops that are fine to go in now though; seed potatoes, rhubarb and asparagus just to name a few.
June is the month when thoughts turn to roses. Traditionally these have been bought as “bare root” meaning the rose is in a plastic bag with its roots in sawdust; however, there is a move nowadays to purchasing roses already potted. When you buy bare root roses the success or failure of your plant is dictated by whether the roots have remained moist or dried out and sometimes they are very slow to establish. Potted on the other hand generally have a decent root system in place and will take off when spring comes. The difference in cost between the two options is now much smaller than it used to be too.
Fruit and ornamental trees are in the same situation as roses above, still available as bare-root but now increasingly more often sold potted and ready to go. Don’t be afraid to plant your fruit trees in pots if you are short of garden space. I have a small yard and have the following all growing and fruiting well in pots; lemon, cumquat, apricot, fig, numerous blueberries and a truffle tree! Make sure you use a pot that’s large enough, a good premium potting mix and that they are in a spot that will get at least half a day’s sunshine
What's in Season this Winter?
Fruiting berries are in store in June too. Raspberry, blackberry, Loganberry, Boysenberry and more are ready to go in this month. These too can be grown in pots but need a bit more care as regards staking and or trellising. Feel free to chat to one of our garden staff about any queries or concerns you have regarding growing any of the above, we’re only too happy to help.
Wet weather will bring out the snails in huge numbers so keep an eye out and bait or manually control as necessary. On the other hand, as it gets colder, we generally see fewer white cabbage moths around so there are fewer grubs on our cabbage and other brassica plants. I’m still getting a few but they are easy to control by picking off by hand, or if the plants are large enough, I can let them have a leaf or two without compromising my crop. If you still have large infestations you may need to dust.
Even though it’s winter, cold and hopefully wet there is still plenty of colour in the garden. The Zygo or Christmas cactus as they are commonly called is in full flower at this time of the year. A perfect plant for pots or hanging baskets to brighten up the patio. Hellebore, otherwise known as winter rose is also flowering now in a range of colours and is ideal in shaded, moist spots in the garden. Nandinas will start to turn red as it gets colder providing wonderful pops of colour throughout your garden. Available in various forms and sizes; one of the nicest being Moonbay which grows to around 80cm high, these are versatile plants for most positions in a garden. Look out for camellias in your local store too, they are available in different flower forms and colours, and grow beautifully in pots and positions in the garden that gets morning sun.
Another June task is spraying peaches and nectarines when they have lost their leaves for the fungal disease Leaf Curl. Use one of the copper-based fungicides and make sure you cover the tree well as the fungus overwinters in the buds and bark. Speaking of leaves, don’t pass up the last chance to turn all those falling leaves into lovely compost.
Don’t let winter put you off, rug up, head out into your ‘patch’ this month and enjoy what the garden brings in June.