June NZ Gardening Calendar
NZ Gardening Calendar – June
NZ Gardening Calendar. Generally considered the first month of winter. Although in many part of New Zealand it’s not the most severe weather yet. But there’s often frost to shock deciduous plants into dropping their leaves.
Tasks For This Month NZ Gardening Calendar
General Info For This Months NZ Gardening Calendar
Time for the three P’s – Planning, pruning and planting.
If you’re considering making a garden improvement, now is a good time to do your research for ideas and planning. Don’t be frightened to get professional help from a Landscape Architect if you’ve got a large project in mind. Or for the smaller projects consider getting a Landscape Designer or Garden Designer. It’s worth getting good advice in the long run. We’ve probably all seen beautiful large specimen trees, planted too close to buildings, causing shading and structural damage to paths drives and even the foundations of buildings. To the point that necessitates brutal pruning or complete removal. Often at considerable expense. Or those clearly amateur jobs, that are just wasted time and money and often end up having to be redone.
The most common mistake I see when people under take planting projects, is the lack of soil preparation. It’s just so much easier and tempting to bung a plant in a small hole and pack the muck around it. Than considering one of the most neglected factors in successful gardening, drainage. You’ve often got to observe where the water flows and collects or ponds in the winter after heavy down pours of rain. Often the simplest and most effective way to solve drainage problems is to contour the land surface, so there’s a downhill slope away from buildings, with no hollow areas for water to collect and pond for long periods. Unless of course you want a pond. If surface contouring for a downhill flow is not practical, then various other forms of drainage needs to be considered, but this can become complex and there fore expensive and may need professional help.
Once you’ve got the drainage sorted you need to consider the soil structure. Does it predominantly consist of sand, loam, or clay? Sandy soil has larger soil particles and typically, if you pick up a handful of moist sandy soil and squeeze it in your fingers, it will crumble when you release the pressure. While predominantly clay soil is at the other end of the soil particle size spectrum. If you pick up a handful of moist clay soil and squeeze it, it will remain in the shape of your hand print.
Predominantly loam soil has soil particle size between sand and clay and when moist soil is squeezed between your fingers and released, it typically crumbles into soft lumps. There are professional services that can test your soil for a fee, if you want to be more accurate. Loamy soil is generally the best soil type for growing most plants. Most soils can be improved with the addition of organic matter. So if you’re planting a whole garden bed from bare ground, I think it’s best to remove any weeds such as Kikuyu grass, etc. Then spread a layer of organic matter such as well rotted compost over the soil surface. If it’s a heavy clay soil I like to spread some pumice sand, and dig the whole area with a spade to at least one spade deep. I know there are no dig methods, but these take longer to work the organic matter into the deeper soil levels.
If you want to plant perennials such as trees and shrubs, it’s usually best to get them in the ground before the end of August, when their main growth phase will start.
Fresh stocks of most deciduous trees and shrubs will be arriving at garden centres from June, and most of the bare rooted trees are usually sold out in August.
For plants that are prone to bleeding sap, such as Kiwifruit, Grapes, and Walnuts, it’s best to be finished pruning them before the middle of July. I personally prefer to prune my Roseacea family plants, ( Plum, Peach, Nectarine, Apple, Pear, and Roses) slightly later at the first sign of bud swelling, in late July, because I have noticed less incidence of fungal die back diseases. Fungus spores appear to be able to more easily enter the vascular system of the plant when there are fresh open pruning wounds and no sap flowing, since active sap flow and growth provides a natural defence system to repel disease attack.
Food Gardening For This Months NZ Gardening Calendar
Harvest anything that looks edible.
Pull out all the plants that are dead or gone to seed.
Pull out the remaining weeds, or at least use a hoe to chop them off at ground level.
If you’ve got clay soil consider working Gypsum into soil, because gypsum improves clay soil.
Spread compost over the surface, this will help suppress most weed regrowth until you can work the soil in spring (September).
Seed sowing ( If soil and weather permit ).
In northern, central and warm southern districts you can sow:
Broad beans, carrot, cress. chinese cabbage, lettuces, onions, peas, radish, spinach and turnip
Garlic by dividing up into separate “cloves”,and selecting the healthy disease free cloves. Plant them 40-50mm deep and 60-80mm apart.
Potato tubers can be planted in frost free areas.
Rhubarb can planted.
Remove any dead and dying annual herbs such as basil, etc. If there’s any seed heads with seed attached, you can spread the seed where you want another crop. This can save you buying more seed or plants, next year.
Pip (Apple and Pears) and Stone Fruit (Peaches, nectarines, and Plums)–
Do winter pruning between now and the end of July. I prefer to prune pip and stone fruit trees in late July, if you can get it all done before green tips showing on the buds, because I’ve noticed less fungal infection occurring with die back etc, when the pruning wounds are open to the wet weather for a shorter period, when the sap has just started to flow in spring.
Harvest your limes when they’re a reasonable size. Harvest your mandarins, oranges, ugly fruit, lemonade, and lemons soon after there is no green on the skin. It’s tempting to treat the tree as a storage unit by leaving the fruit on the tree, but if you leave the fruit on the tree too long the tree will suck out the moisture, leaving them “dry”. Also leaving the fruit on the tree too long delays and reduces the following flowering, so you get bi biennial bearing, where you get a heavy crop one year, then the following year is light, because so much of the trees energy went into the heavy years crop.
Another problem I’ve often seen is the skin being eaten and the flesh left untouched, particularly on Meyer lemons. People tend to blame opossums for this, but when I’ve used a Tim’s opossum trap all I’ve ever caught is rats, which I believe are the culprits for lemon skin eating.
Grapes and Kiwi fruit – Are best pruned now before July. When I’ve pruned in late July I’ve noticed they will often bleed sap.
Blackcurrants and Gooseberries – Prune out the old growth and leave the new growth.
Raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, and loganberries –
Complete pruning them this month, by removing dead growth and weak growth and tie the remainder to a support system.
Can be planted in warm northern and central areas, but can be delayed until spring if preferred.
Green Houses/Glass house
You can sow cucumber and tomato seeds for early crops, if you can provide heat, such as bottom heat for the seed containers. I usually just buy my early crop of tomatoes in punnets of six seedlings in August, for planting an early crop under glass, that can produce tomatoes before Christmas.
Pots and Containers
Containers need to have any dead plant matter other than compost removed. If the soil level has sunk, they can be topped up with fresh potting ix or well rotted compost.
Potted plants such as tuberous begonias are dried off and typically stored lying on their side, to stop water wetting the soil, which can rot the tubers. They are typically re-watered in September and if needed re-potted then.
Ornamental Gardening For This Months NZ Gardening Calendar
Flower Gardening Tasks For This Months NZ Gardening Calendar
Seeds to sow in warm northern districts:
Directly outdoors – Allysum, candytuft, larkspur, linaria, stock, sweet peas.
In green/glass houses – calendula, dianthus, lobelia, nemisia, poppies, snapdragon, stock, sweet peas, statice.
Bulbs and perennials –
Hurry up with planting any spring flowering bulbs.
Divide and replant any perennials that you want to spread now, before they start regrowth.
Trees and Shrub Tasks For This Months NZ Gardening Calendar
June and July are the main months for planting and transplanting most trees and shrubs.
Carefully consider where you want to plant trees and shrubs so you don’t have to transplant or remove them in the future. Prepare the soil properly before planting, and consider whether a new plant needs staking and/or sheltering from the wind. If the soil is too waterlogged, wait until it dries out enough.
Can be prunes when flowering has finished. I prefer July rose pruning to minimise the period that the open wounds are exposed to wet weather, to reduce die back fungus disease incidence.
You can get away with stretching out the frequency of mowing to between three to five weeks depending on grass growth rates and how boggy the area is.
Compost Jobs For This Months NZ Gardening Calendar
Make new compost heaps by incorporating dead leaves, grass clippings, vegetable scraps with a sprinkling of lime and animal manure etc. Turn and mix existing compost heaps that haven’t decomposed sufficiently. Compost heaps that consist of predominantly unrecognisable matter are ready to be spread around planted areas as a mulch, or in preparation for digging in when soil conditions are dry enough. That’s it for this months NZ gardening calendar.