Winter jobs in your New England garden

Frosty time: Remember to remove the yellowing leaves from your cabbages at this time of year to prevent fungal growth.
Frosty time: Remember to remove the yellowing leaves from your cabbages at this time of year to prevent fungal growth.

A few frosty mornings, but frequently followed by clear blue skies and glorious sunny days - one of the many reasons to live in the New England!

The winter solstice, the day of the year with the least number of daylight hours of any during the year, was on June 21.

The winter solstice is not the day with the latest sunrise and earliest sunset, however, as the earliest sunset (4.49pm to be precise) was in the first weeks of June, and the latest sunrise is not until June 30, at 6.51am.

So, although the shortest day passed a fortnight ago, we have yet to get to the day with the latest sunrise.

The timing of the solstice is to do with scientific stuff like the earth moving around the sun in an ellipse, not a circle, and because the earth is off-centre on its axis – if you need to know more, I suggest you try the Internet!

Garden jobs to keep you warm during June

Remove yellowing leaves on brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower) as these encourage fungal growth.

Continue to cut down dead growth on collapsing herbaceous perennials and weed and generally tidy beds.

This will save some work when things get busy again in spring.

Where perennial plants’ seed heads are held on strong stems, these can be left uncut until either they collapse or the new growth emerges in spring.

These seed heads can look fabulous on a frosty morning, with a sparkling white layer of ice on them.

The seed heads can also provide some food for birds as well as protection to the crown of the plant from hard frosts.

If you are enthusiastic, there is still time to transplant evergreens, as there have not yet been many frosts and the ground is still retaining some of its warmth from summer.

Water in well and use a thick layer of mulch to help the tree on its way.

Another good job for late June is to clear your gutters and downpipes of rotting leaves and dirt, and add it all to the compost heap.

Take a look at the Armidale Garden Club

The Armidale Garden Club has its next meeting on Thursday, July 27, at the Uniting Church Youth Club Hall in Rusden Street.

Winter time meetings start at 7pm, with the doors open from 6.45pm.

At the last garden club meeting, Ray Cantrell was elected as president for the coming year and David Trenerry was elected to the vice-president’s position.

They both have some great ideas for the coming meetings, and everyone with an interest in gardening is encouraged to come along to find out more.