June marks the beginning of proper winter in South Africa. It can be a busy and sometimes challenging month for vegetable gardeners, with short days, the potential for temperature swings, as well as heavy rainfall, or no rainfall at all, depending on the region you live in.

Preparing for winter by removing old, spent summer crops is an important part of raising a successful winter garden. By ensuring that only vigorous and temperature suited plants are planted, you can reduce your risk of pests in your garden.

Your root crops should be getting nicely established in June, with some early finishers like turnips and carrots ready for harvest by the end of the month. Keep an eye out for fungal infections, pests and diseases in your garden, and if you notice potato blight on any potato plants, make sure to rotate your crop the following year.

cabbage_properWinter crops to enjoy in June include crisp head lettuce, chard, leeks, Brussels sprouts, and turnips. Winter fruits ready this month include pears, apples, and a large variety of citrus fruits. On days that are too cold to work in your garden, winter is a good time to plan your spring garden.

Planting Guide: