If you feel like working in the garden, plant Cineraria Senetti® because it thrives in the cold and its huge daisy-like flowers are simply stunning. June plantings will flower into spring and will not stop flowering until nighttime temperatures reach 26°C. It grows just as well in the garden or in containers in full winter sun or full sun as in indoors under bright light.
Senetti’s color range includes two-tone magenta, blue and purple flowers with bright white centers as well as unique colors. Water regularly so that the soil does not dry out and revive flowering with liquid fertilizer twice a month. The plants grow up to 60cm with a spread of 45cm, which is larger than normal cineraria.
Good to know: Cut by 50% after each flower flush to encourage another flush. Using garden scissors or pruning shears, shape it by cutting off any dead flowers and sparse shoots. It should be neat and compact. Feed with a liquid fertilizer like Margaret Roberts Organic Supercharger and water well. Continue to feed monthly to encourage new growth and healthy blooms.
Small primroses are another cold weather flower. Botanically they are known as Primula acaulis and the ‘Danessa’ series is early flowering, very compact and with a good color range which includes bicolors as well as an unusual pink with pink eyes and apricot with pink eyes.
Use them as a low, colorful border in the garden in shade or partial shade in well-drained, compost-enriched soil. Space plants 20cm apart. Water regularly but not too much because the plants do not like wet feet.
They are just as showy as potted plants as the flowers resemble a bouquet, borne above the dark hairy leaves. Display them in a position that receives bright, indirect light and allow the soil to dry out slightly before watering. For something different, plant a mix of colors in a patio hanging basket.
Make a winter hanging basket for the patio. Hanging baskets are often more successful in the winter than in the summer because they require less watering and don’t dry out as quickly. Use Petunias such as ‘Queen of Hearts’ Novelty or ‘Night Sky’ Petunia, ‘Sorbet XP’ Viola, Trailing Snapdragons or ‘Easy Breezy’ Alyssum in Sunny Baskets and Fairy Primulas and Cyclamen in baskets that receive good light but little or no direct sun. Keep the soil moist but not soggy and feed it monthly with a liquid fertilizer.
Vegetables of the month: Microgreens are the only vegetables you can safely sow in the winter. Use the large black plastic seedling trays filled with a suitable weed-free seedling soil mix. Pre-fertilize by watering with Margaret Roberts Organic Supercharger so the soil is moist. It is not necessary to fertilize again.
RAW seeds have two tasty blends: “Old Mexico” which consists of coriander, beetroot, cabbage, radish and watercress and “Rainbow blend” with beetroot, Asian cabbage, kohlrabi, Italian broccoli and radish.
Sow the seeds in a thick layer, cover lightly with the potting soil, firm it up and mist with a spray bottle to moisten the soil. Cover the entire tray with plastic wrap and store it in a warm, sheltered place like a balcony or patio. The seed should germinate within seven to 14 days. Harvest from 15 days when the shoots are 5 to 10 cm high. If you let the leaves grow, they can be harvested as young leaves. Use as a garnish, salad topper, on open sandwiches and in omelettes.
Garden chores for June
- Maintain the flower power of winter-blooming annuals with a liquid fertilizer applied every two weeks. Remove faded flowers to encourage new blooms.
- Don’t let daffodils and other spring-flowering bulbs or shrubs, such as azaleas, camellias or magnolias, dry out or they won’t bloom.
- Use all your garden waste and household waste to make compost.
- Spread the dried leaves on garden beds as a thick mulch.
- Move herbs in pots to a sheltered, sunny spot where there are no drafts. Water them once or twice a week and supplement with a liquid fertilizer (half-concentrate) every two weeks.
- Water the vegetables once a week.