Outdoor

Your bonus guide to gardening and rose care in June

You loved our June gardening guide so much we’ve created a bonus one! Here’s how to care for your garden in the colder months and how to tend to new roses

planting tree in garden

Your bonus guide to gardening and rose care in June

+ Don’t forget about the bees. Although they hibernate in colder areas, bees will often forage for food in winter. Many bee-attracting flowering annuals such as alyssum, lobelia and calendula will flower during winter if they’re grown in sheltered spots.

+ Winter is here and usually brings plenty of wind, rain and frost, depending on where you live in New Zealand. Wind can shred soft foliage, dry out the soil and tip over newly planted trees and shrubs. The long-term way to guard against wind is to grow groups of trees to create shelter belts, but for short-term protection, build a shelter of wind cloth, driftwood, recycled timber or whatever you can grab that will help to reduce the impact of fierce winter gales. Always stake newly planted trees and shrubs for their first season or two, especially if they’re planted in an exposed spot.

+ One of the positives of cooler weather is that you can move shrubs and trees with less risk of transplant shock. The increased moisture in the ground will encourage new roots to develop, but you’ll still need to water for the first month or so, unless you live in an area prone to frost.

+ In frosty areas, cover frost-tender plants such as citrus, palms and hibiscus with frost cloth or even a blanket when temperatures are forecast to drop. Mulch frost-tender shrubs and perennials with straw or compost, making sure you don’t pile it up too high around woody stems, otherwise they’re likely to rot. Move potted frangipani, gardenia and other tender plants to a sheltered spot.

+ Inside the house, plants will be in a dormant phase, which means reducing their water intake and giving them little or no food. You may want to move some plants closer to the windows so they can receive more light.

+ If you have a sunny area in the garden that you don’t know what to do with, consider planting wildflowers. Even a small bed can look delightful and will attract lots of lovely bees and butterflies. In warmer areas, sow seed now for spring wildflowers, but in frosty places, wait until spring to sow. Seed is available online from kingsseeds.co.nz and gardenpost.co.nz.

+ Aerate wet spots in boggy lawns with a garden fork and fill with sand. Reduce watering and mowing during winter as well.

June is rose-planting month

  • Garden centres will be well stocked with roses right now. Most are sold either bare-rooted (packed in damp paper to keep the roots moist) or in pots. Look for black spot-resistant varieties.
  • Healthy plants will have smooth stems and lots of plump leaf buds. Keep your roses moist, especially if buying bare-rooted types, and plant them as soon as possible.
  • Preparation is key for roses and this means adding plenty of sheep pellets, stable manure and/or well-rotted compost to the soil first. A sprinkle of dolomite lime is good for acidic soils.
  • A sunny position is ideal with plenty of air flow and moisture-retaining soil, such as well-drained clay loam.

Words by: Carol Bucknell.  Photography by: gstockstudio/123rf.

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