Toss on a jacket and head out this winter. Here’s a list of essential garden tasks to focus on in June.
June garden tasks
Cold weather and frost protection is about preventing heat loss by covering your plants or replacing heat loss by trapping heat given off by the ground or surrounding walls. There are some easy ways to protect your plants in extremely cold and frost- prone regions of the country:
– Mulching with straw helps to retain heat and so keeps the plant warmer.
– Plant frost-tender species near a north facing wall. This will allow them the benefit of the heat absorbed during the day given off by the wall.
– If you have different elevations in your garden, plant frost-tender species on higher ground rather than lower, as cold air sinks down to lower levels.
– Make sure the soil in your containers is moist – damp soil stores heat during the day more effectively than dry soil.
– Drape frost cloth over your frost-tender perennials to trap the heat that is coming off the ground – bubble wrap works well and is cheaper! Make sure you cover up before nightfall as most of the ground warmth has dissipated by then.
– Place a couple of two-litre cold drink bottles filled with water at the base of your shrubs. At night they release the heat they have absorbed during the day.
– Plant species that are frost hardy such as Abelias, Melaluca bracteata, Pittosporum and Anisodontea.
– Move hanging baskets down to ground level and move containers to sheltered spots before a frost.
– Wrap trunks of young fruit trees with hessian or tree wrap, ideally for the entire winter. Don’t panic if your plants do suffer some cold and frost damage – generally when the weather starts to warm up new green shoots will start to appear and then you can prune off those damaged bits.
For more tips on the essential gardening jobs, check out the June issue of Garden&Home magazine – on sale now!