Gardening: Season confusion

mpg Garden of the week 26/06/02Camellia sasanqua ( white flower )
mpg Garden of the week 26/06/02Camellia sasanqua ( white flower )

OUR recent weather certainly caused confusion, for us as well as the garden.

Apart from a few cold nights, the days have been perfect - the deciduous trees that haven't defoliated are getting new spring-like growth and even wattles are in flower before July.

Camellia sasanquas will soon finish flowering, after which they should be fed with cow manure (if growing in the ground) and lightly pruned.

Hedging should also be done after flowering - if espaliering, wait until new growth appears, then extend long shoots sideways, cutting off frontal growth.

Japonica camellias will begin to flower within the next couple of weeks, so disbud them now to enable the blooms to open and alleviate bud drop.

Watering the garden isn't an issue at the moment - when we get rain it isn't just a light shower.

Winter watering really should be judged carefully, although a daily drink isn't necessary unless establishing new plants.

When the winter westerlies arrive gardens may need more water.

New season roses which can be planted out during June will certainly require a daily drink until established.

Don't fertilise garden beds where new roses are to be planted - if soil preparation hasn't already been done, plant out in a good potting mix.

Spring bulbs will begin to emerge from the soil, which means another application of bulb food.

Pruning during winter is discouraged as newly cut growth can be burnt by sudden cold - keep Stressgard on hand if it is necessary to prune.

Deciduous trees and shrubs will be pruned later in winter, as with roses.

Do not prune roses this month.

June is a ideal month to plant winter vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprout and cauliflower.

Cyclamen and orchids provide a great show inside and last longer than cut flowers.

Winter grass will soon be multiplying at a great rate - it must be treated before it runs to seed.

Products available to eradicate this pesty plant are Yates Winter Grass Killer and Endothal.