Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Gardeners' Diary - June 2015



Zygocactus as you give them their trim after flowering has finished - this is usually around 4 weeks after flowering has finished.  Select young, healthy tips about 10cm and cut between leaf segments. Leave them in a dry, shady area to harden and form small aerial roots. When ready to plant, use a good propagating mix and place several cuttings in the same pot and once they start to grow, transplant into baskets or pots using succulent potting mix.

Ginkgo biloba (maindenhair tree) - choose a male form as the female tree produces a smelly fruit as it falls. These trees grow 9m high and about 5m wide so allow plenty of room to develop where you place it eventually. Take a 15cm hardwood cutting. Place in propagating mix and keep moist, but not wet. Progressively repot into large pots and grow them on until ready to plant out.

General Tips:

Pull back on watering cacti, succulents, caladiums and epiphytic bromeliads as they start their winter dormancy.

Gardenias will yellow off now, this is natural for this time of year - so don't be tempted to make a grab for the sulphate of magnesium!

In the spring we will be giving our Gardenias some complete fertiliser like Osmocote, Multicote or Dynamic Lifter to give them their spring boost.

Prepare heavy clay soils fr spring shrub planting by using a mattock or crowbar to loosen soil and incorporate organic matter and gypsum.

Before the big rose prune do some tool maintenance - see this post to get some useful tips on how to do this.

When mulching around subtropical beauties like heliconias, gingers and prayer plants to insulate growth points, use lightweight material such as straw or dried fern fronds.

Trimmed asparagus should be given a really good feed and top dressing of cow poo and compost to get the best crop.

If growing winter crops of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts etc keep the fertiliser up as they need loads of energy to produce their best.

When pineapples start to turn pink, fertilise with blood and bone, mulch and water well. We need to take care of them as it generally takes about 18 months for a fruit to develop. Last season our pineapple was ripening up nicely until 'something' came in and hollowed out the fruit! This year they will be protected in the enclosed vegie patch.

Divide chive clumps. Before planting, dig some Dynamic Lifter pellets into the soil and feed every few weeks through the growing season with nitrogen-rich fertiliser. 

Remember our lemon trees need regular feeding. Use blended organic fertiliser, however never feed a flowering lemon as this can cause fruit drop.


Sasanqua camellias when flowering ceases.

Cut back mint, lift from pots, split and re-pot into excellent potting mix.

Lift ginger, galangal and turmeric. Trim off all foliage, save the plumpest, healthiest-looking rhizomes to use for next year's crop. Cut into 3-5cm long pieces and dip the wounds into powdered Sulphur before replanting.

A general rule of thumb when pruning roses - take the 50/50 approach, that is 50% off the height and 50% off the canes from the base.


Natives, it is always a good time to grow them. Please look at at this link to get some hints on providing some good habitat for native birds.

Asparagus, work compost, sheep or cow manure to a depth of 30cm. This is a very important to establish a good plot to learn more about growing asparagus click here where Tino from Gardening Australia gives all the details.

Rhubarb can be grown from crowns or seed. Plant in an open, sunny position in soil which has been enriched with rotted manure and compost. Leave undisturbed for 4-5 years and then divide the plants. The only way to get guaranteed lovely red rhubarb is to buy bare rooted crown divisions from a reputable nursery in winter. There is no amount of fertiliser, sun, shade, water or other tricks to try and change the colour of green rhubarb.

Lettuce directly in the garden and you may be picking by August! 

Another vegetable that should be planted successively for a continuous crop.

If you have grown kale from seed, now would be a good time to transplant. Space 30-45cm apart. Plant in full sun in fertile, well-drained soil. Keep soil moist and add organic fertiliser monthly. Harvest the young, tender, centre leaves. Kale is a 'cut and come again' vegetable and easy to grow. It can live for quite a long time if offered some support. I saw some beauties in the garden of a CHGC member recently....... even had some to take home for soup - delicious!

Broadbeans, they grow best in well-drained soils with lots of organic matter like compost or well-rotted manure dug into the soil. Don't overdo the nitrogen, or you'll have excessive leaf growth and few flowers or pods. Soak seeds overnight in diluted seaweed extrat (1 teaspoon to 1 litre) and plant about 20cm apart in blocks. Smaller growing cultivars are bushier so need to be a fit further apart. It is best to put solid supports around your broadbeans so you can run string between them to support the plants and stop them from being blown over. Water the seeds well but don't water again until they are growing vigorously. 

Beetroot - sow direct in garden at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed and space plants 20-30cm apart. There should be beetroot ready to pick in around 7-10 weeks. This is one plant that succession planting is a really good idea to have continuity of produce. Beetroot are compatible with onions, silverbeet, lettuce, cabbage, dwarf beans, dill, peas and strawberries. They don't like to share their space with asparagus, carrots and sweetcorn. There are some stunning beetroot which are really fun to grow (and eat) check out some of the heirloom seed distributors see here Eden Seeds for example.

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