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How to care for your garden in the summer

Posted by Susan Read Landscapes on 23 October 2017
How to care for your garden in the summer

Well it's summer long days, balmy nights, BBQs by the pool side and generally taking it all in and relaxing.

While we get in to the summer swing and of course the party season, your garden may not be overly happy about it.

It's not only humans and pets that need hydration your garden and plants also do.  While this may seem obvious, it's surprising how many people forget their gardens during the warmer/hotter months.

With a little bit of preparation and regular maintenance, your garden will not only survive, yet also thrive during the summer allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space without it looking like some wasteland.

Here are some simple and quick things you can do for your garden in the summer.

First and foremost, water!  Not just water, yet deeply and regularly.

This should really be obvious, especially in Australian summer where it can get exceptionally hot and dry.

Remember that you should always water your garden in the cool times of the day. 

The best times are early morning or evening to avoid evaporation.

Also, it is much better to water deeply; this means you should apply more water for longer intervals than to water a little bit every day, as this encourages the plant roots to sink in more deeply into the soil.

And think about installing a rain water tank for your water source rather than using mains.

Next, let your grass grow a little longer.

It is better to raise the height of your lawn-mower blade in the summer, cutting your grass a little longer than usual.

More leaf surface keeps the grass in your home garden healthier during hot and dry weather.

Also if you mow much higher, you will give the lawn a better chance of shading itself.

Think about adding some mulch.

Organic mulch can be made from different materials, you can add anything made from organic matter.

For example, recycled leaf litter, sugarcane mulch, straw and shredded leaves.

These materials are going to help your soil in the long run as they decompose and add to your soil structure.

Spreading a layer of mulch over your soil is one of the best things you can do for your garden, especially during heat waves.

The mulch acts as a blanket and provides a shield to the soil from the harsh sun.

This keeps the soil cooler, so your plant roots are healthier, and prevents moisture loss from evaporation.

Don't forget your potted plants.

Potted plants can even be more vulnerable to overheating, as they do not have the option of sinking their roots deeper for water.

On the other hand, it is easier to move potted plants to a more protected area if needed.

So try to keep them away from the hot noon sun if possible and keep the sand moist.

This ensures roots stay cool and plants remain healthy.

Add a pot-saucer under the pot, and fill it up with water.

Watch the mozzies though!

Wind can also cause heat damage.

Wind is another danger, as hot windy air can dry out soil, plants and mulch quickly.

A living screen such as a hedge or some form of fencing will help.

Get a fence that allows some air movement.  If no air can circulate, the garden is likely to turn into a heat trap.

Finally, your garden's best friend will be shade.

Placing a tree or vine in the right areas to shield your house and garden from the searing sun is a great option.

Freshly planted plants are especially vulnerable.  So try to shelter them with palm fronds or leafy branches for a week or two.

With a little effort on your part, your garden will continue to provide you with pleasure and joy throughout the summer months and I guarantee you'll enjoy pottering around.

If you'd like some more tips and tricks on setting up and looking after your garden masterpiece, contact Susan Read Landscapes, 0418 635781, for a consultation.

Author:Susan Read Landscapes
  • Experienced landscape
    architect – 24 years
  • Owner/operated business
    providing personal &
    individual service
  • Vision & ideas for unique
    one of a kind gardens
  • Working knowledge &
    experience in local
    government and admini-
    strative regulations &
  • Local resident in market
  • Industry contacts
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