Summer can create punishing conditions for plants. Fortunately, there are few things that you can do to protect your garden from the intense summer heat.
Building a garden that is resilient to summer conditions often begins with finding the right pieces to build with.
For example, you will have an easier time caring for both local and water-wise plants compared to exotics. Both types of plants fare well in the Australian climate and will require less water.
Planting native trees on your property also offers a few important benefits like providing shade and lowering the temperature inside nearby structures. Plus, once trees become established, these will require minimal care and maintenance.
But apart from choosing the right plant species for your garden, it is equally important to know when to plant these. For example, shrubs and trees are best planted around autumn or early winter as this gives these enough time to establish themselves for summer.
Brushing up on the basics
Before the season rolls in, it is highly advisable to water your garden deeply. Watering deeply encourages the plant roots to grow deeper. With deeper roots, the plants become more resilient to heat; plus, the plants become more stable. Schedule your watering early in the morning to encourage excess moisture to evaporate and prevent the development of fungal diseases.
Make sure that you give your plants enough fertilisers, with a strong emphasis on enough. Overfeeding your plants makes these become thirstier and more vulnerable to pests and diseases. Liquid fertilisers mixed with seaweed tonic and fish emulsion work best for vegetables, fruit-bearing trees, and herbs.
Mulching and wetting agents
Adding a layer of coarse mulch, about 50 to 75mm, can greatly reduce evaporation. This, in turn, allows your plants to thrive even with little moisture available. Plus, the addition of mulch lowers soil temperature while providing much needed nutrients.
Sometimes, the topmost layer of the soil develops a waxy coating that prevents water from fully penetrating the soil. Using wetting agents can break down this waxy coating and help water reach down the plant roots.
Managing pests and diseases
Plants can become extra vulnerable to pest and diseases during summer due to stress brought about by low moisture and intense heat. This is why it is doubly important to water your plants effectively and to condition and fertilise the soil.
With some planning and prompt action, you can contain pests and diseases before these become a bigger problem.
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