How to look after your winter garden this June

The team at Kings Plant Barn are here to help with your winter gardening tips

Any tips for keeping birds fed over winter?
Attract birds, both native and introduced, with different feeding stations. Kākā, bellbirds, tūī and silvereyes will feed  from nectar feeder bottles. Attract kererū as well with cut fruit on the fence or by hanging the pieces from tree branches away from cats. Avoid feeding birds with bread, milk, oats or honey water. Wild bird seed and bird energy bars are best distributed in specific feeders.

Is there a quick way to protect my frost-prone plants this winter?
Move outside plants in pots to a sheltered space such as a greenhouse or on a covered deck. If you have frost-tender plants in the ground, cover them by mid-May with frost cloth to prevent them from getting cold damage.

Is there any difference between partial sun and partial shade when it comes to growing?
These terms usually refer to growing conditions for certain types of plants. While these generally mean the same thing, partial shade can be dappled light instead of partial sun, which would be an area that gets sun for half the day.

What’s the simplest way to improve my soil?
Make sure your soil is mixed with a good amount of organic matter to help improve drainage and increase the microorganism count. Add compost, humus (dead roots and plant matter), leaf mould (dead leaf matter), organic fertiliser, worm ‘tea’ and worm castings. Refrain from keeping the soil bare as it will lose its moisture. Instead, plant out grasses, ground covers, compost crops in vegetable beds for winter, or cover with a mulch.

How can I stop my plants from getting waterlogged with winter’s deluges?
If you are getting boggy patches, you will need to create better draining by digging out small ditches around the garden’s sides in the problem areas. Create a raised garden or veggie bed, and when planting, slightly mound the plants, so their roots don’t sit in water and help break up compact clay soils with gypsum.

What are the hardiest indoor plants?
The hardiest plants to grow indoors are the snake plant (Sansevierias) and the ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zanzibar). Both can tolerate darker spaces inside, as well as requiring little water. Always keep them on the dry side in pots with drainage holes

Wondering what to plant in your garden during June?  Check out your planting checklist here

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