Tips from Sarah the Gardener
As the first month of winter, June can be a bit daunting for the keen gardener eager to be in the garden sowing and planting. The saving grace is the shortest day is just three weeks into the start of winter, meaning each day after that is stretching slowly out in length to greet the spring, making the cold weather more bearable. While there are many things that can be done out in the garden at this time of year like pruning fruit trees and planting garlic and onion, in some parts of Australia, it isn’t all that pleasant out there in the garden. There is a biting cold that goes through to your bones and the soil is often muddy, sticks to your boots and working it is not only difficult but can do harm to your soil structure. You are better off indoors, in the warmth and the dry.
Winter should be a time of reflection and dreaming but it doesn’t need to be an unproductive time. Those cold months can be spent making plans. Gardeners are often so keen to get the garden started that they rush into spring sowing as many things as they can find seed packets for. They hit the garden centres and are tempted by all the green and delightful things found there. Soon enough greenhouses, windowsills and kitchen tables become overwhelmed with the possibility of a potentially fabulous garden.
Then, once the sun begins to shine warmly, the garden is surveyed and the realisation dawns that there may not be enough space, so more earth is hastily turned over and plants that have been tenderly nurtured through the coldest of months are unceremoniously plonked in the garden where ever they will fit.
However, there is a better way. While the garden is empty and it is way too early to reach for seed trays, a little time taken now can make all the difference to the success of the garden. Planning for the season will give you the ultimate head start and ensure you have an amazing season.