Whether you are completely new to gardening or a green thumb from way back, you'll find a lot of useful info here in our Gardening Advice section.
Start with our monthly gardening guide where you'll find seasonal tips for all the things you need to do this month, next month and beyond.
If you're looking for help on a specific topic, try the Gardening Information section and if you don't find what you're after please contact us. We're more than happy to help.
Garden Guide for June
The Edible Garden
Time to plant berry plants including the brambles such as raspberries and boysenberries. A couple of varieties to note are Raspberry aspiring; this had large dark red conical firm fruit with excellent flavour. It is a strong and productive plant, which spreads fast and is one of the easiest of all to grow. Canes are vigorous with a high number of strong upright canes. Dormant canes are dark brown with few spines. It fruits in both summer and autumn. Summer fruit are on last years canes where winter chill is adequate. Autumn fruit is produced on the top 10-20 buds of new canes.
Boysenberry thornless jewel; Large, firm conical rich dark red/black berries. Old fashioned boysenberry flavour, juicy and sweet. It is a boysenberry cross that fruits in December, and the plant is thornless.June, July
Citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon, lime, tangelo, mandarin etc) will be nearing maturity. Be aware that changing skin colour is caused by cool temperatures and does not always suggest ripeness.
Fruit development takes significant plant energy. If leaves show signs of yellowing then feed with a liquid fertiliser such as 'Yates Thrive Liquid Concentrate Citrus'.June, July
Deciduous Fruit Tree Planting
The winter months are optimal for planting deciduous fruit trees. If you want to harvest your own fresh fruit then now is the time to plan out your home orchard. Fruit tree varieties due into store include; apple, plum, apricot, cherry, pear, peach, nectarine, peachcot, plumcot, quince, walnut, hazelnut, chestnut, plus others. Some fruit variety numbers are limited - it is recommended to place an order instore if you are after something in particular. If limited for space, try family tree planting, check out this link http://www.waimeanurseries.co.nz/how-to-guide/family-tree-plantings-four-trees-in-one-hole/
Also a good time to plant; pomegranate, fig, gooseberry, grape, currents, mandarin, lemon, other citrus, and more. This is the time of year with the best selection.June, July, August
Time to plant garlic. Seed bulbs are in stock now in the garden centre. Pull off the individual cloves (there's no need to peel them) and plant 10-15cm apart and 5cm deep. Plant garlic bulbs in free-draining, moist but never waterlogged soil with the pointy ends facing up. To try some thing different grow some elephant garlic, they are sold as individual cloves that will grow to form huge bulbs.
The best time to plant strawberry plants is during May & June. While strawberry plantings can be made year-round, planting done in the cooler months tends to result in heavier cropping than plantings made in warmer months. If they are planted too late, i.e. closer to the longest day (December), they will tend to produce an abundance of runners instead of fruit. So plant now to have lots of strawberries for Christmas!
A variety that has had much success with gardeners in Whanganui is Camarosa. This strawberry produces large firm berries with a medium-red colour. The flavour is excellent and the fruit is relatively resistant to wet weather.
The Strawberry variety Camerosa will be available as bare root bundles some time during May for a very limited time (approx. 5-7 days) and Albion later in the month. If you want to buy a reasonable quantity of plants then you are best to place an order to ensure you don't miss out! Otherwise they will be available later in May in pots and punnets.
There seems no limit to how and where strawberries can be grown, and they are fairly fool proof that anyone can plant them and be rewarded with fruit! They can be grown in old car tyres where the heat of the tyres hastens ripening, grown in hydroponics, in glazed or terracotta pots, specialist herb/strawberry planters, hanging basket or they can fit in the herb garden. Some grow them along the edge of a vegetable garden and others will dedicate a spot to mass produce their favourite berry!
Most vegetable plantings are now best left until after the shortest day (21 June). Then look to make sowings of Broad beans, sugar snap peas and onions, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, silverbeet, carrots and beetroot.
Onions are not difficult to grow and take up little room. Before planting sprinkle the ground with ‘Ican Organic Vegetable Food’ and fork in. Pukekoe longkeeper are available from garden centres in punnets and as seeds
Protecting new plantings with cloches makes considerable difference to seedlings and will greatly reduce growth time to harvest.June
Great time to make compost! Gather up falling leaves, layer the heap to include shrub prunings, grass clippings (not too many), vegetable scraps, garden weeds etc. Be sure not to make any layer excessively thick. This will rot into the most excellent mulch to use in the spring. Add ‘Reln Garden Worm Farm & Compost Conditioner’ or ‘Tui Garden Lime’ to the pile to speed decomposition.April, May, June
Prepare for frosts; make sure you have supplies of frost cloth ready if you have frost sensitive plants that may be at risk. You can also spray on a product called vapour-guard which will give frost protection to treated plants.May, June, July, August
Grass grub in lawns
Treat grass grub problems in the lawn at this time of the year. Grass grubs eat the roots of the grass causing the tops to die. This results in brown patches developing in the lawn and birds digging at the surface as they look for the grubs. At this time of the year the grubs are close to the surface and can therefore be effectively controlled. ‘Yates Insect Killer for Lawns’ should be sprinkled over the lawn surface around affected areas prior to or during heavy rain. Alternatively, ‘Yates Complete Lawn Insect Control’ can be connected to the hose and watered onto grass areas.April, May, June
New Seasons Trees In Store
A great time to be planting! An abundance of new seasons stock especially camellias, rhododendrons, fruit trees, ornamental trees, roses and lots of shrubs and hedging plants are all available in the garden centre now.
Start an orchard! Save money on fruit by growing your own. You don’t have to have a big section to have fruit trees there are dwarf varieties of many fruits that are ideal for small spots or growing in pots and containers.
Available now include; apricots, apples, peaches, peachcots, plums, nectarines, pears, quince, walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, almonds, cherries, figs, lemons, limes, mandarins, oranges, grapefruit plus more.
June and July are good months to plant deciduous specimen trees (those that lose their leaves in winter). The new seasons selection will come available in the garden centre during the later part of June and through July. Planting while trees are in their dormant stage minimises the risk of any transplanting shock as all new growth (that starts from August) willbe happening in your garden.June, July
Pip Fruit Pruning
Time to prune apple and pear trees. Pruning of fruit trees and vines is primarily undertaken to maximise fruit set, yield, and fruit quality.
The objectives of good pruning are to;
- Maintain the size and quantity of the fruit
- Remove dead and diseased wood.
- Train the young tree so that it will develop a vigorous strong framework of branches that is able to carry heavy crops over a long period of time without damage to the branches of the tree.
- Train the tree to a form (vase shape, central leader shape etc.), which aids the management of disease control and harvesting.
- Provide good quality and an even distribution of healthy fruiting wood throughout the tree.
Prune your trees on a day that you would dry your washing on and paint all cuts with pruning paste to minimise the risk of disease infection.
Follow this immediately with a spray of Gro Safe En Spray 99 and Gro Safe Free Flo Copper which for ease of application can be safely mixed together and get good results.June, July, August
Keep an eye on the weather, be prepared to protect young plants with temporary covers (like a cloche) from unseasonable cold or hail storm, strong and cold wind or torrential rain which can strike at any time.
The use of a cloche to cover out newly planted seedlings will greatly increase the growth rate at this time of year.May, June, July, August, September, October, November
If you are not keen on spraying but really need to for obtaining good crops on fruiting plants then choose to do winter sprays. This will clean up overwintering pests and diseases and reduce the need for spraying later in the season when fruit is on the trees. Winter sprays on roses will improve spring growth and subsequent flowering.
Very useful in Whanganui to help induce dormancy on deciduous fruits and plants particularly roses. By doing so the plant has a proper rest period & will reward with better blooming in the coming season. Lime sulphur will also remove lichen from plants as well as controlling insects including scale insects & mites. It provides a protective film of sulphur over buds to prevent the entry of fungus into plants and trees. (Note lime sulphur is not suitable for apricots)
Grosafe Enspray 99
An spraying oil for control of scale, mites and mealy bug on fruit trees, grapes, roses and other ornamentals. Applying during the dormant period reduces the pest incidence during the coming season.
Grosafe Freeflo Copper
Freeflo copper protects against fungal diseases including blackspot, downy mildew & curly leaf (peaches & nectarines). Grosafe Freeflo copper is as improvement on other powder & liquid types of copper giving a far more complete coverage and stronger fungal protection
For ease of application mix Grosafe Enspray 99 & Grosafe Freeflo Copper together.May, June, July, August
The Flower Garden
Time to grow cyclamen; One of the longest flowering plants that are excellent for pots and gardens are cyclamen. They thrive in pots and well drained shady areas of the garden. They come in a range of offerings including larger growing plants with large flowers and foliage to those with miniature foliage and miniature flowers. A typical miniature cyclamen that you would buy in the garden centre can have up to 200-300 flowers in a season!
Cyclamen can be grown indoors or outdoors in a shady spot. These winter flowering beauties make a room bright & cheerful and are an excellent gifts. There are two types readily available the larger flowered and a miniature type which are usually lightly scented.May, June, July
Feed your Winter flowers
Feed polyanthus, pansies, primula and cyclamen with dried blood sold as ‘Tui Flower Booster’ (quite different to blood and bone). Use a teaspoon amount around each plant to enhance flowering and plant health.June, July, August
Maintain healthy plants of pansies, primula, cyclamen and polyanthus by fertilising with ‘dried blood’ (different from blood and bone). It can be applied as a powder directly to the soil or mixed with water and applied with a watering can.May, June
Your perennials (a plant that will regrow in Spring) will require cutting down to soil level at the end of their growing season. You can choose to cut the plant back when it is finished or you may choose to leave the foliage if the plant has interesting seed heads that can be enjoyed by the birds. Then you would cut the plant back in late Winter. This would include plants such as delphiniums, hosta, brunnera, some day lilies, thalictrum, cranes bill geranium.June, July, August
Winter roses aka hellebores are at their best during the winter months with flowering becoming more profuse in the cooler weather. Check out the many varieties in store now and the amazing blooms with colours ranging from whites, creams, light pink through to dark burgundy black. Spectacular flower forms range from singles to doubles. They are well worth having in the winter garden – check them out!June, July
Looking for colour?
Good colour at the moment are many camellia sasanqua varieties. They are in full flower with others in bud due to burst. Other good shrubs or plants for providing winter flowers include:
Consider these plants for beautiful foliage colour prompted with the cooler weather.
Time to start thinking roses! New seasons roses varieties will be arriving into the store from the end of May. Roses really are an impressive plant. There are few plants that can boast the growth rate and extent of flowering that a good rose will provide. A rose bush purchased in June or July (that looks like a group of sticks in a pot) will by November will be 60-80cm in height and producing a mass of colourful blooms, most roses (depending on the variety) will repeat flower throughout the summer and well into next Autumn. Prepare the soil for new season rose plantings in preparation for this arrival.
Rose pruning in Whanganui is best left until mid July. Other wise our mild temperatures tend to promote early growth which may be damaged by frosts.
However now is the time to order roses now for winter delivery to ensure you don’t miss.March, April, May, June
Spray your roses
Towards the end of May it is time to spray roses & fruit trees with Gro Safe lime sulphur to induce dormancy and remove overwintering scale insects, moss and lichen.May, June
Winter flowers to choose
There is a huge range of flowering plants to choose from, to fill up the gaps in your your winter garden. These include
- sweet William
- lobelia (in frost sheltered spots)
to name a few. Plant these flowers to give cheerful colour during the coming months. Come in and check out the range available in the garden centre now.April, May, June, July