What to do, this Month

  • The days are still shortening, but only until the Winter Solstice later in the month. After that, winter can disappear quickly! It’s a great time to start making plans for your new season, plus gather the supplies and seeds you’ll need. Have a look at the Yates Seed Finder, to see what you can sow in June.

  • Keep on top of weeds, no matter how small. It really reduces the maintenance required while you’re busy doing other things in spring.

  • Slugs and snails will still be out and about. Seek out their hiding places and reduce their population sizes with ‘extreme prejudice’. You’ll really cut back the problems they cause in the new season.

  • Winter’s perfect to propagate your favourite shrubs and trees by taking hardwood cuttings, to add heaps of plants to your garden for free.

  • House plants will need less watering, but when water is needed make sure it’s at room temperature to avoid shocking them.

  • If you're in a warmer part of the country, strawberry plants will be arriving in stores. It's a great time to plant them out this month. If you live the cold winter zone though, if you wait until August you'll avoid the worst of the frosts.

Vegie Tasks

  • The options of seeds to sow in winter is a short list! However, you can still be sowing broad beans, carrots, kale, lettuce, onions, peas and spinach. Always check the seed packet for variations in your region.

  • Traditionally the time to plant garlic is on the winter solstice on the 21 June with an expected harvest on the summer solstice in December.

  • Cut down asparagus ferns once they turn yellow and enrich the soil, ready for the new harvest.

  • Improve soil fertility with compost plus well-rotted manure, to leave plenty of time for the microbial communities in the soil to work their magic with it. You’ll really enhance your gardens soil structure in readiness for the new growing season.

  • Check stored pumpkins, apples, potatoes and onions for signs of rot. One bad apple can spoil the barrel!

Fruit Tree Care

  • Once leaves have fallen and fruiting and flowering has finished, pruning can begin. Before making a cut, check how the plant prefers to be pruned to avoid chopping off future blooms, or your next fruit harvest.

  • Begin a winter spray program to clean up overwintering pests and diseases on fruit trees. Copper and Sulfur based sprays control diseases, while Yates Conqueror Oil controls pests.

  • Winter is a great time to plant dormant fruit trees and berries. Pruning at planting time helps the tree to grow into a good shape.

Flowers Everywhere

  • Defeat the winter gloom by starting off seedlings that’ll bring in some brightness. Flowers you can start now include: campanula, lobelia, lupins and sweet peas.

  • As flowering shrubs finish flowering, prune to maintain the size of the plant, plus remove diseased, damaged and dying branches. This improves airflow and lets in light to revitalise the plant, for stronger growth in the new season.

  • Dahlia tubers can easily rot in cold wet soils. To avoid disappointment, if your soil gets cold and soggy, dig up your tubers and store them in a cool dry place until you’re ready for planting again in the spring.

  • Clear away old and diseased foliage from around the ornamental garden, to prevent problems reappearing in the spring.

  • New roses will begin appearing in garden centres and winter is the perfect time to add this classic flowering plant to your garden. There’s a style to suit everyone, from wild rambling and climbing varieties to the more compact standard or low-growing carpet roses.

Love Your Lawn

  • The lawn should require less mowing in the winter, so save it for a dry sunny day to avoid causing damage.

  • Stay off the lawn if it’s frosty or saturated, to avoid harming the grass and compacting the soil structure below.

  • If your lawn gets soggy in winter, consider spiking it to aerate before it becomes waterlogged. Follow this with a light coating of sand for improved drainage. For persistent drainage problems, a French drain can really improve things.

  • Thin out overhanging plants and branches that cause bare patches in the lawn.

  • Look for alternative ground covers to replace grass, in areas where grass has to compete with trees, or just refuses to grow well.


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