Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – June

June brings us the start of winter, with colder, wetter weather, but there are still some sunny days to be had, winter vegies to harvest, and some tidying up to do around the garden.

As deciduous trees and shrubs shed their leaves and become dormant, it’s a good time to both plant new ones and prune existing ones. Winter pruning of deciduous fruit trees and grape vines begins now.

Harsh cold winds can be a problem, drying out plants very quickly, so it’s important to put up windbreaks such as plastic sleeve tree guards or shadecloth around young evergreen trees to prevent wind burn.

In frost-prone areas, vulnerable plants will need to be protected. When frost is anticipated, cover the plant overnight with hessian, shadecloth, plastic sheet, cardboard, straw or newspaper – make sure that the cover is not airtight and that air can still circulate.

Things to Do This Month:

  • Plant deciduous trees, shrubs, vines and cane fruits (and roses!). Wait till spring for planting citrus.
  • Divide existing perennials and plant new perennials.
  • Gather and compost fallen leaves.
  • Protect plants that are not frost-hardy in frost-prone areas.
  • Install windbreaks, such as the plastic tree guard sleeves, around newly planted evergreens.
  • Prune deciduous fruit trees (not apricots, best to prune these in late autumn when the leaves start yellowing, during dry, preferably windy weather to prevent diseases entering the pruning cuts). To prune fruit trees, first cut away any dead or diseased wood, then cut away any branches growing inwards towards the centre or crossing other branches (to prevent rubbing and bark damage), and finally, prune tree to shape using the appropriate technique for that species.
  • Prune deciduous shrubs (rose pruning is done in July!) and vines (such as kiwi fruit).
  • Prune grape vines and take hardwood cuttings from these for propagation.
  • Finish pruning currants and gooseberries and take hardwood cuttings from these for propagation.
  • Prune tall shrubs to reduce height to better resist winter winds.
  • Relocate any deciduous plants (trees, shrubs, vines) or herbaceous perennial plants growing in the wrong place in winter. (Evergreens can only be moved in autumn and early spring, where they have time to regrow roots – remember, they retain leaves in winter which transpire and lose water!).
  • Collect and sow seeds from berry producing trees and shrubs.
  • Some perennials can be propagated from root cuttings, which can be taken through winter.
  • Continue propagation of hardwood cuttings which began in autumn – prune off 30cm long shoots of current season’s growth, cut off the soft growing tip, cut off the bottom end below a bud, and dip end into rooting hormone. Make a ‘slit trench’ by pushing a spade into soil and rocking it back and forth. In clay soil, add some coarse sand for drainage. Put cuttings in so 2/3 is below the soil, and press the soil down around them. Cuttings will root and be ready to plant next autumn.
  • Continue planting garlic, strawberry runners and shallot bulbs.
  • Harvest parsnips, they will taste the better now that they have experienced some cold.

Vegetables and Herbs to Sow:

Sow in June Harvest (weeks)
Broad beans d 12-22
Garlic d 17-25
Lettuce ds 8-12
Mustard greens d 5-8
Onion ds 25-34
Peas d 9-11
Radish d 5-7
Shallot bulbs d 12-15
Snow Peas d 12-14
Strawberry runners d 11
Strawberries (seed) d 12 months

d = sow directly into ground
s = sow in seed tray
ds = sow directly into ground or seed tray

Download printable PDF version of Gardening Calendar (Australian Temperate Climate) – June


  1. Deb says:

    Hi Angelo, have followed your advice re Berkeley method of hot composting (from way back!) Wanted to utilise an abundance of autumn leaves as carbon addition. Used grass clippings and horse manure as nitrogen, in ratio of 1:2 as per your instructions (ie 1 nitrogen:2 carbon). Covered with black plastic. Turned after 4 days. Looked good, but subsequent turnings: not so good. Nothing happening. Pile is correct size, materials very damp. Do you have any suggestions please? Thank you. I live in Macedon Ranges, Vic. Cheers, Deb

    1. Angelo (admin) says:

      Hi Deb, form what you describe it should be working wonderfully. I must ask, did it heat up? What type of leaves did you use? Did you mow over the leaves first to break them up? Did you use eucalyptus leaves in the mix? You mention you used a black plastic cover, hopefully that was just loosely covering the top to prevent rain waterlogging the compost heap, with open sides for plenty of air to get in, rather than a snug wrapping.

      1. Deb says:

        Hi Angelo, on the first turning, it had heated. Then nothing. I used mostly chestnut and oak leaves, no eucalyptus. No, I didn’t mow over them first. I loosely covered with black plastic to keep rain out. Pile is in a compost bay, with 3 sides open to air. Maybe it needs to be free standing? I now have a second pile on the go, with same materials but also wood and leaf chips from neighbour’s branches cut and chipped (which I’ve also now added to first pile). On turning yesterday (day 4) it’s “smoking”. Composting is a bit of a passion of mine, but I’ve never tried the Berkeley hot method. Should a result be expected after 18 days even during a Victorian winter? Also, should I be wearing a mask when turning? My lungs are feeling it…I think I just answered my own question! Thanks for your help and the excellent article on the Berkeley method. Cheers, Deb

  2. Jim says:

    Angelo..An off topic question. My lasagne beds are being invaded with Bermuda grass after three years now, with few problems. I know this is a difficult issue. So far, I have been able to limit the damage by pulling the lengths of Bermuda, which is quite easy, due to the looseness of the beds.. Do you have further suggestions? Thank you,

    1. Angelo (admin) says:

      Hi Jim, Bermuda grass is what we call couch grass here in Australia. It has thin runners below the ground and is quite invasive. Are your garden beds built over a lawn? If so, you need to dig a shallow trench all round such as a botanical edge or cut into the soil about 30cm (12″) and install some root barrier plastic to prevent it getting in. To get rid of the grass already in the garden beds, of there are no other plants nearby, you can pour boiling water over it to kill it. Digging out any grass, pulling up the long stringy runners helps weaken the root system, and if you keep cutting it back and mulching over it, you’ll exhaust the energy reserves in the roots and it will die off. I use a spray called Slasher, it’s based on geranium oil and strips all the waxes off the leaves, so they lose all their moisture and dry out. On a warm day, the leaves are yellow and dry the next day. A few repeat applications totally exhausts the roots. I also use a long weeding knife tool for pulling up deeply rooted weeds, works great!

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