- Jobs for June

Things may be slower in the gar­den, but this is the time to be set­ting down roots for the fu­ture.

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Contents - WORDS O SJ JANE WRIG­GLESWORTH GG S O

Sow spinach, sil­ver­beet, radishes, peas, onions, rocket and win­ter let­tuces.

Plant gar­lic and shal­lots

Both are tra­di­tion­ally planted on the short­est day of the year, but they can be sown through­out win­ter. Choose a sunny spot with fer­tile, com­post-en­riched soil. Di­vide your shal­lots into sin­gle bulbs and plant each bulb root end down. Gen­tly press them into the soil, but leave at least a third of the bulb pok­ing out. Space your shal­lots 15cm apart in rows 30cm apart. Shal­lots form clus­ters of bulbs around the orig­i­nal bulb so they re­quire more space than gar­lic. Wa­ter well af­ter plant­ing, and over win­ter if the soil is dry. Pro­vide reg­u­lar mois­ture in spring and sum­mer; a shal­lot’s root sys­tem is shal­low so plants can­not dig deep for wa­ter. Feed reg­u­larly, but re­duce feed­ing and wa­ter­ing close to har­vest. Har­vest your shal­lots when the tops wither and turn brown, usu­ally mid-to-latemid- to- late sum­mer.

Plant seedlings of broc­coli, cab­bage, cau­li­flower, kale, let­tuce, spinach and sil­ver­beet.

PLANT NEW FRUIT TREES – ap­ples, pears, plums, peaches and nec­tarines – while they are dor­mant in win­ter. Dig a hole twice the size of the tree’s root ball, in­cor­po­rate slow re­lease fer­tiliser, in­sert a stake, then back­fill the hole. Firm the soil with your foot. Make sure new­ly­planted trees are well wa­tered while roots are es­tab­lish­ing.

Dig in your marigolds

French marigolds ( Tagetes pat­ula) have a rep­u­ta­tion for re­pelling ne­ma­todes, the tiny round­worms that feed on plant roots. But it only works if you plant a suit­able num­ber and keep them grow­ing for a cer­tain length of time. If you plant just a smat­ter­ing of marigolds for a short pe­riod, or in­ter­sperse them in amongst your veges, not a lot will hap­pen. Your best bet is to grow a solid block of them, like a cover crop, for an en­tire sea­son, then dig them into the soil. Af­ter that, your soil should re­main ne­ma­tode-free for two to three years.

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