Autumn is the ideal time to plant trees and roses, deal to falling foliage, and get your lawn winter-ready. Here’s a round-up of things to tick off your June gardening to-do list
1. Get planting
Get those spades out and plant a tree or two. June is also a good month to move existing trees and shrubs, as long as it’s not too frosty in your area. If the weather is dry, water plants regularly to help them establish.
While you’ve got the spade out, now is the time to plant roses, during their dormant period. There are plenty to choose from in garden centres but be sure to select varieties that are resistant to black spot and other common rose diseases in order to keep spraying to a minimum. Check also for nice smooth stems.
Roses need sun, air flow and moisture-retentive but well-drained soil. Mix in organic matter (eg sheep pellets, stable manure and/or well-rotted compost) about three weeks before planting.
2. Winter blooms
We often forget about winter when we plant flowers but there are lots of winter-blooming shrubs and trees that will light up those cold, dull days including camellia, gordonia, many magnolias, daphne and rhododendron. Berries add colour in winter, too, and they feed the birds. Crab apple trees are a big hit with our feathered friends as are coprosmas and melias.
3. Falling foliage
Autumn leaves are gold to some, anathema to others, who dislike them clogging up drains and turning the lawn yellow where they fall. If you’re in the latter camp, why not rake your autumn leaves up and spread them around plants or add them to the compost? Your garden will love you for it.
4. Lawn maintenance
If your lawn is a soggy sponge in winter, improving aeration might help. Make a series of small holes in the ground (avoid irrigation lines) and fill with sand. There are specialist tools for the job but a garden fork will work.
5. Water smart
It may seem obvious to stop watering when it’s wet, but even indoor plants need less water at this time of year, as their growth slows down considerably. Succulents and frangipani need virtually no water during the colder months.
6. Pest control
If you spot rows of saw-tooth notches on tendrils and twigs in your garden, remove them immediately. These are the eggs of passionfruit hoppers, waiting for warmer weather to hatch.
Words by: Carol Bucknell; Photography by: Chris Warnes/bauersyndication.com.au.