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June jobs

Get the early winter jobs done in the garden this June.

Hippeastrums will reward the well prepared gardener if planted now. Time to get ready!


Time to plant Hippeastrum now. Photo - Robin Powell


Jam-pack hippeastrum bulbs into a shallow pot for a stunning spring display.

Sow peas, and expect to start harvesting in around 12 weeks. Once the plants have finished producing, dig them into the soil to add extra nitrogen for a follow-up crop of leafy greens.

Order pineapple lilies (Eucomis) to plant out in spring for a long summer show. Choose either green or purple-leafed varieties, with white or pink flowers.

Net brassicas against white cabbage moth. Alternatively if you see caterpillar damage you could spray with Yates Success Ultra, an insecticide derived from a soil bacteria discovered on a Caribbean island. The bacteria, called spinetoram, is effective against a range of common caterpillars, as well as pear and cherry slug. It kills both on contact and when caterpillars eat sprayed leaves. Repeat the application every 7-14 days.

Keep an eye on the forecast and when frosts are expected move susceptible potted plants to the shelter of a wall or verandah.

Reduce watering of indoor plants as they go into a quiet time. Let the mix dry out completely between waterings, and use tepid, rather than cold water.

Gardeners in sub-tropical climes can get their tomatoes started now, and beat the fruit fly attacks of summer.

June 29 is International Mud Day, a great opportunity to get filthy with the children in your life. Make mud and glory in the life of the soil.

Gather fallen leaves to layer on the compost pile.

Rhubarb clumps that have gotten tired and less productive should be dug up and divided. Replant the plumpest, healthiest crownsinto manure-enriched soil.

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Author: Robin Powell