June Gardening Guide | Winter Gardening

What to do & plant in your garden in June — Southern Hemisphere’s winter.

Don’t let the cooler weather put you off getting outside. Winter is the best time to plant and prune deciduous trees and shrubs. 

But there’s also plenty of time to spend cosying up inside, as maintenance in the garden is generally low at the moment — the cooler months are the best time to plan your next gardening projects for breaking ground on in spring.

June - Winter Gardening Series

General Gardening


Cut back deciduous plants and fruit trees (except stone fruit trees), hydrangeas, grapes and raspberries.

Pruning helps plants to stay healthy, keep in shape, and makes trees and shrubs grow more vigorously.

Collect leaves

Keep using deciduous leaves for composting and mulching.

You can run them over with the lawnmower to break them up, then rake them up and use them in the garden. (They’ll break down faster and let the underneath layers of soil breathe better if they’re broken up before being used.)


Mulching is the best way to keep weeds down and it adds a warm blanket for the plant’s roots through winter.

Winter is a great time to enrich your soil. Weed first, then put bottom layers of soil nourishing things like seaweed, compost and manure (or products like Tui Blood & Bone, Chicken & Sheep Pellets, Seaweed & Fish Fertiliser). Then top with deciduous autumn leaves, pea hay or decomposing wood chips

For clay soils and drainage issues add some gypsum to your soil.

Garlic in Elly Keen‘s raised bed.

The Edible Garden


An early winter harvest is still plentiful, with apples and pears ripe for picking, lots of citrus, as well as tamarillos.

Rhubarb is ready for stewing and baking with, winter greens like rocket, kale and spinach are great meal fillers, and avocados are heading back into season. 

— In the Vegetable Garden


Pick weeds out of between newly planted vegetable seedlings, so they’re not competing for sun and soil. 

Plant garlic

Traditionally the shortest day of the year is when gardeners in New Zealand have planted their garlic (harvested it on the longest day). Though it can really be planted anywhere from May to the end of July. If you want to grow garlic and haven’t already got it in, this month is a good time to plant.

Spot slugs & snails

Keep an eye out for creepy crawlies, and remove or squish slugs and snails — or they’ll get into your veggie seedlings before you do!

( Photo by Mel Adams )

What to plant in the vegetable garden in June

Roots —

  • Beetroot
  • Potatoes

Brassicas —

  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Pak choi

Herbs —

  • Coriander
  • Parsley

Salad greens —

  • Lettuces
  • Mizuna
  • Rocket
  • Silverbeet
  • Spinach

Other —

  • Broad beans
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Jerusalem artichoke
  • Onions
  • Shallots

Fruit —

  • Strawberries
  • Citrus
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines

( Photo by Mel Adams )

— In the Orchard


Plant new fruit trees — citrus, apples, pears, plums, peaches and nectarines.


Some deciduous fruit trees can be pruned now (except for stone fruit trees like peaches, plums and nectarines, which are best pruned after fruiting in late summer or early autumn.) It’s also a good time to prune back grapevines and berry bushes.

Hydrangea seed heads

( Photo by Elly Keen )

The Flower Garden

Perennial care

Cut back (and divide if you want to) perennials like asters, achillea (yarrow) and dahlias.


Cut back hydrangeas, about 2-3 buds from the base. They’ll shoot away again in the warmer months.


Winter is the best time to plant roses, with lots available in garden centres and online now. Some of our favourites are peony-like David Austin roses, which are available in a huge number of colours.

It’s also a good time to plant winter flowering plants like daphne and camellias.