As the days get longer and the nights shorter and as you labour under the scorching sweltering Australian sun, you’ll soon find you may not be able to complete all your gardening tasks as quickly as you hoped!
To keep your garden looking top-notch in summer, there are some important but simple things you can do to your garden plants to make it thrive in hotter climes.
The first and most important tip would be to know when to water your garden in summer. This is very crucial because watering in the full sun means much of the water will evaporate before reaching the roots, hence it’s not water-efficient or effective. The best time to water the garden is in the morning or evening during the cooler parts of the day (ideally before 10 am and after 4 pm). Also, be sure to follow any watering restrictions in your area.
Wear appropriate clothing (long sleeves or UV rated clothing) and a hat and apply sunscreen to any exposed parts of the skin especially if you are spending longer time outdoors.
Spending a long time outdoors can take its toll on your energy and cause dehydration, so do take care by keeping a drink bottle handy especially if you plan on doing more tasks such as potting, planting or if you have a larger garden to take care of.
Caring for potted plants
During summer, plants in pots tend to be susceptible to overheating and drying out to the point where they won’t absorb water into their soil. Try to position pots away from the direct sun, sheltering them from the excessive heat. A good shady area might be best to keep them safe! If you find they still aren’t looking too good, remove them from their pots and soak them in a tub of cool water for 30-minutes and then let them drain. This will help them survive.
Mulch is nature’s blanket, keeping the soil cool in summer and warm in winter. Mulch helps to stop a lot of moisture loss in soil and straw mulch is more gentle on the soil than bark mulch, so it’s a good idea to mulch especially if you are going on a short break or vacation! Mulching before going away will keep your garden plants hydrated and in good condition when you return from your break.
It’s a good idea to weed before you mulch and adding a small amount of fresh compost into the soil so it will allow your garden soil to hold on to moisture for longer during summer. Use about 5-10 cms as you work it around existing plants. Use half a bucket of homemade compost for larger potted plants that you cannot move into the shade. Give all the plants a nice thorough watering and leave it overnight before you go off on your holiday.
Wind break protection
Use a windbreak shield or wind curtain to protect your plants from the harsh summer environment especially if you live near grasslands or open grounds and your plants are susceptible to harsh winds.
Indoor plant care
Don’t forget to care for indoor plants in summer. Give them a good soaking (maybe fill them with a few centimetres of water in the basin and then let them drain) so they stay nice and hydrated especially if you are travelling away from home for a few days. It’s well worth a bit of time and effort to protect your plants from the sun and wind while you are away. While they may still look stressed when you get back, they will be able to quickly bounce back when you return. Just give them another good drenching when you’re back and they’ll be back in tip-top shape in no time.
If you need a helping hand, why not consider Top Cut Lawn Mowing to help you with some of your summer gardening chores… we’ll spruce up your garden and get it tip-top in no time!