With winter frosts about to settle in, should you bother planting anything in the garden? We think there are plenty of reasons to get gardening in June.
While it's tempting to hibernate inside by the fire as the mercury drops, there's a lot you can still plant during the cooler months, according to Sustainable Gardening Australia and Angie Thomas, horticulture consultant to Yates.
In cold climes
Spinach is an essential winter vegetable which thrives in the cold, as do broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Globe artichokes can also be planted now and will make an impressive visual addition to your patch.
Sage can be planted with your vegetables and will help ward caterpillars and moths off your veggies.
Potted colours like dianthus, cornflower, pansy, viola, verbena and lupins will look pretty and help attract bees to your garden.
Hellebores, also known as ‘winter roses’, are perfect for full to partly shaded spots and are a delight during the cooler months of the year, putting on a prolific display of large, bell, shaped flowers throughout winter.
Hellebore ‘Molly’s White’ and ‘Penny’s Pink’ are two gorgeous hellebores. Although they look delicate, they’re tough plants that don’t require much water once established. Feed hellebores every six weeks during periods of new foliage with an organic soil improver and plant fertiliser.
Native to South Africa, Leucadendrons provide welcome splashes of colour in the winter garden and the variety ‘Bella’s Buttons’ has stunning yellow foliage with striking red centres in late winter and early spring. It’s a dwarf leucadendron with a rounded growth habit, reaching a compact 45cm high and wide.
Leucadendrons are quite frost resistant (down to –5 degrees celsius) and respond well to a yearly mid-spring prune, which helps maintain their size and shape.
In temperate zones
Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, peas and beans can all be planted in your garden this June. Once harvested, they'll make nutritious and delicious additions to winter soups and stews.
Lemongrass and chamomile will do well in your veggie patch, as will mint, which loves cooler temperatures.
Flowers will help attract friendly insects to your gardens. Try planting some pansies, snapdragons, marigolds and cornflowers to give you some much-needed colour during these darker days.
Alyssum is commonly grown as a pretty filler in amongst other flowers in pots and garden beds. Whilst it might not take centre stage, alyssum makes a gorgeous border plant even when grown on its own.
Carpet of Snow is a long-lasting and hardy annual smothered in masses of tiny honey-scented, white flowers. In warm and temperate zones during June, it’s as easy to scatter directly on where they are to grow and only needs covering with 2mm of loose soil or seed raising mix. Firm down and keep the soil moist whilst the seeds germinate for around two weeks.
Bidens are a group of hardy plants in the daisy family that bring bright warm colours into the garden. Its flowers emerge as deep orange-red and mature to bicolour yellow and orange. ‘Campfire’ is a vigorous plant, growing to around 20cm to 30cm tall and is heat and dry tolerant. Cooler temperatures will help promote the burnt orange tones.
When planting Bidens ‘Campfire’ into pots or hanging baskets, start with a good quality potting mix and feed each week with a plant food that’s boosted with extra potassium, the key nutrient that encourages flowering.
In mild to warm areas
Leeks, rocket, beetroot, celery, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and potatoes can be planted during June in frost-free or occasional light frost areas.
Chamomile is great in winter and can be used to make a warming tea after a long day in the garden. You'll also be able to plant coriander, perfect for yummy winter curries.
Pop in some colourful flowers like marigolds, lupins, pansies, viola, phlox and lavender to brighten up your patch.
If you’re after vibrant colour in late winter, then look out for the Madeira range of argyranthemums including richly coloured ‘Red Double’.
The Madeira range is quick to grow and will reach around 30cm high and 40cm wide. They’re hardy perennials that like growing in a full sun position and once established they will tolerate light frosts. To keep them healthy, Angie recommends regularly feeding them with a fast-acting liquid fertiliser that’s boosted with potassium to promote lots of gorgeous flowers.
Asplenium australasicum, commonly known as the ‘Bird’s nest fern’, is native to Australia’s east coast, from Cape York in Queensland down to the south coast of New South Wales. In its natural habitat, it’s found in moist and sheltered forests - where it grows on trees or rocks - but it's happy to grow in urban settings in protected gardens and also indoors.
Bird’s nest ferns have a striking upright vase shape which adds structural interest and, with green fronds reaching up to 1.5 metres long, can create a wonderful garden focal point.