June means winter is here. Fortunately we've had some rain but more is needed to increase soil moisture to a point were it is no longer in deficit. 

The last of the leaves will have fallen so now is the time to give the whole garden a good clean up, removing all the leaves, weeds and plants that have finished.

Pruning fruit trees can be started but only on fine sunny days, there is no great hurry yet! 

June is a great time to plant garlic. Use only good healthy cloves that are firm. 

Winter vegetables will benefit from a hoe to loosen up the soil and keep the weeds down.

In the flower garden perennials will benefit from lifting and dividing, I like to put the divisions into pots to grow on ready to plant back in spring. 

Dahlias should be lifted and stored for the winter. Once they have finished flowering Chrysanthemums should be cut back by two thirds or lifted, trimmed and put into trays or pots ready to produce shoots for cuttings in the spring.

Lawns will need less mowing and can be cut at a higher level. Any signs of grass grub may still be treated. Winter is a good time to service lawn mowers. Keeping them in good cutting condition will ensure they are ready for spring grass growth.

Other winter time tasks include keeping paths clear of over hanging plants and removing moss and leaves so that they are not slippery.

Raised beds come in a huge variety of designs and materials these days and are a convenient way to grow vegetables, flowers and shrubs.  Winter is a good time to build them so they're ready for spring planting - time to get creative! 

Gardeners with green houses should undertake maintenance and cleaning now  in time for the start of the growing season.

Good gardening, Michael Coulter

Remember: bring your questions to our monthly AAG meeting, post them on HortTalk or email Michael directly beforehand coultchrys@xtra.co.nz