9 gardening tasks to tick off during June


The garden will be quieter but there’s still plenty to do.

Words Jane Wrigglesworth

Prune grapevines and take cuttings as you do so. This is easy: cut just above a bud and 5cm below it. Push the cutting into a pot of seed-raising mix with the bud resting on the soil surface.

Water and keep in a warm, sheltered, frost-free spot over winter. When roots appear, plant into a larger pot, or in the garden.

Grab yourself a bare-rooted fruit tree or three (or more!) and plant out in a sunny, sheltered spot in the garden. Dig a hole twice as big as the root ball. If your tree is grafted, make sure the graft is above soil level. New trees need a little TLC in their first year.
– stake plants when positioning (two stakes either side of the tree, with flexible ties)
– water regularly
– keep mulched in the warmer months to conserve moisture

Sow spinach, silverbeet, rocket and winter lettuces in a sheltered patch, or grow in large pots. Radishes, peas and onions can also be sown.

Build a cold frame to keep your seedlings, cuttings and tender plants cosy. It’s simple: build a box frame from scrap wood and fix a recycled window on top, with hinges for easy access.

For a quick fix, push stakes in the ground around tender plants and cover with frost cloth.

Bay trees are generally hardy to -5°C, but hard frosts and freezing winds can cause leaves to turn brown. Bring plants indoors in cold areas or use frost cloth. Any leaf damage can be pruned out in spring.

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Plant garlic bulbs if you haven’t already. Before planting, ensure soil is free-draining. Bulbs are likely to rot in heavy, waterlogged soil. Break off individual bulbs from your seed garlic and plant the fattest ones in nutrient-rich soil in full sun.

Push each clove, unpeeled and pointy end up, about 5cm deep and 10-15cm apart. As soon as the leaves appear, foliar feed fortnightly for a couple of months.

While basil is a warm season annual, you can sow seeds in a warm spot indoors and harvest as microgreens for salads and other dishes.

Plant seedlings of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale.

Florence fennel is grown as an annual, but if bulbs were not dug up last season, fresh new feathery fronds may emerge and can be harvested for winter salads or dishes.

NZ Lifestyle Block This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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