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What to do in the garden in June

Cool winter weather is not an excuse to hang up the gardening tools! There is so much to do, with many winter garden jobs helping to prepare for a fantastic spring and there’s also lots going on in the winter vegie patch and orchard. So make the most of the short hours of sunshine and get outside!

 

Cool Waves

A sea of colourful pansies creates a beautiful winter and spring display. Their gorgeous happy ‘faces’ can brighten garden beds and pots in sunny or partly shaded areas and also look fantastic spilling over the edges of hanging baskets and retaining walls.
The new Cool Wave range of pansies from Oasis Horticulture is easy to grow and come in a range of lovely colours including Blue Skies and Lemon Surprise. They are both vigorous and well branched spreading varieties that can grow up to 60cm in width. The lemon yellow or blue flowers sit nicely above the foliage and will recover quickly after rain and watering.

 

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Cool Wave “Blue Skies” Pansy | Image courtesy of Oasis Horticulture

 

Here are some tips on how to keep pansies looking great:

  • Improve the soil or potting mix before planting with some Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food, which will add valuable organic matter and nutrients.
  • Water the pansies regularly, particularly in pots which can dry out quicker than garden beds.
  • Trim any spent flower heads regularly to keep the pansies looking tidy and help promote more flowers.
  • Feed each week with Yates Thrive Roses & Flowers Liquid Plant Food throughout Winter to promote healthy plants and encourage lots of flowers. Pest control tip – check along the stems of pansies for small green, black or brown aphids, which are tiny sap sucking insects. In large numbers, aphids can quickly deplete plants and plant health will suffer. Some quick sprays of ready to use Yates Rose Gun Advanced will control aphids as well as caterpillars, which can also damage pansies.

 

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Winter roses

Hellebores, often called ‘Winter Roses’, put on a prolific display of large, bell shaped flowers from winter into early spring. Flower colours range from creamy white through delicate pink and deep magenta. Growing to around 50cm tall and spreading to 60cm wide, they are easy care, tidy plants and are ideal for adding colour into shaded or low light areas. Mass plantings of hellebores in garden beds look stunning and they can also be grown in containers, which can be displayed indoors for up to 6 weeks.

Sprinkle Yates® Dynamic Lifter® Organic Plant Food around the root zone every 6-8 weeks during the growing and flowering seasons and then trim flowering stems back to ground level in late spring.

 

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Hellebore “Cinderella” | Image courtesy of PGA

 

Winter indoor plant care

During winter as temperatures cool, indoor plants will require less moisture so it’s important to reduce watering to avoid water logged plants. Together with under watering, over watering is one of the most common problems with indoor plants.

Don’t leave water in indoor plant saucers as this can leave the lowest layers of potting mix permanently wet, which can lead to rotted roots and poor plant health. To check moisture levels in potted plants, gently scratch around in the top few centimetres of potting mix. If it feels dry and dusty then the plant can be re- watered. If potting mix sticks to your finger then leave watering for a few more days.

You can also give indoor plants a general tidy up, by removing any dead foliage and spent flowers and cleaning up any dust. Indoor plant foliage can collect dust, which not only ruins the look but can also impact plant health and their ability to improve air quality. For small plants, delicately wipe over the leaves with a damp cloth, supporting each leaf as you wipe to help prevent tearing the leaves. For larger plants, you can move them into the shower and give them a gentle wash with luke-warm water. Allow the plant to drain and dry off before moving it back.

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Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas is a horticulturalist from Yates. She writes a monthly column on the company’s website about what what you should be doing in the garden during every month of the year. Visit their website, www.yates.com.au, to know more about Angie.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Homeloans Ltd.