Southland Garden Maintenance in June

Here we are at last!  It’s chilly as in Southland on the 1st of June – the first day of winter.  In saying that, the day has started with a beautiful clear day and a good hard frost; and these days, more often than not, are fine and sunny for the continuation of the day.  If you get a chance, and it’s a clear day, get a look at the Takitimu range covered in snow and looking spectacular over winter.  There are still plenty of autumn colours about, with all of the deciduous trees and shrubs putting on a fine display this year.  I’ve been particularly enjoying the rich golden tones in our little Acer tree in the front garden.  So, what’s there to do in June/July?  Planning for the next growing season can be done now – a nice easy indoor job when the weather is a bit nasty outside.

Takitimu Mountain Range

Takitimu Mountain Range

Plants’ need for food and water diminishes as the cooler winter months settle in, so feeding lawns and most other plants during winter with granular fertilisers is not beneficial at this time of year.  Direct foliage feed is more beneficial for plants at this time of the year, where the foliar feeding will help strengthen the plant and its root system; you could think of it as being a bit like an immunity system booster.

When to Prune Trees In Southland?

The process of winter pruning can be done June/July for Malus (apple) varieties.  For Morus (mulberry) trees, you can do them later in winter when the sap has stopped rising.  You don’t want to overprune them, however.  Don’t be sucked into pruning the Prunus (peach, nectarine, plums, etc.) varieties during winter.  They are best pruned as soon as fruiting has finished because the weather is drier and there is less chance of spreading disease.  Almonds need to be pruned in drier summery days for the same reason.  Covering pruning cuts with a sealant is a good idea to stop any spreading of disease.

Any shaping of ornamental trees can be done during the cooler dormant months.  Trimming and shaping of shrubs is a fun and rewarding job.  If plants are getting to tall/big, careful pruning shrinks their size and maintains a nice shape.  Lopping off branches that have encroached over from the neighbour’s fence can be done now.  They are more likely to be indoors at this time of year, anyway, and are less likely to commentJ.  Conversely, you could look out for any of your trees that are hanging over your neighbour’s fence and/or blocking their sunshine.  Again, if there are trees or shrubs in your garden that are starting to block out the sun from entering in through your windows, use the winter months to get these jobs done.

Check your power and telephone lines out and see if there are any trees getting too close to these.  It’s best to keep on top of these sorts of jobs so that the job remains small and inexpensive – the bigger the job, the bigger the bill.

Do let me know if you need any help with these sorts of jobs, as pruning and trimming tasks can become larger than one might expect.  Any of this type of work around powerlines is best kept for the professionals.

June and July are good months for improving soil fertility in preparation for spring.  For those who love their vege plots, giving these beds a good dressing of dolomite lime can be done now.  Building up your soils with compost and humus will also help to prepare the soil structure for crops planted in August/September.  Any winter vegetables can be hoed around when the soil isn’t too wet; this aerates the soil, improves drainage and helps them to grow.

June and other wintery months are a great time for any landscaping work, putting in any new pathways, correcting drainage issues and building raised garden beds.  Consider raised garden beds particularly where soil drainage is an issue.  Vegetables and other plants prefer well-drained soils and plenty of sunshine to grow their best.

Some other tasks for June and July are general clean-up jobs as well as moss and mould removal.

Give us a call on 021 2111 787 or drop us a line at if you’d like any help around the garden.  I would love to help, and we service especially Invercargill and anywhere west of the city in Southland, including Te Anau and Queenstown.


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