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