08 Nov Summer Survival Kit For Your Garden
With the warm weather fast approaching it is important to prepare your garden so it is able to battle through the summer months.
Increase the water holding capacity of your soil
The easiest and quickest way of doing this is to add organic matter to the soil. This can be completed by digging through materials such as compost and composted animal manure. You can also use a wetting agent on the soil areas. If you use a granulated mix spread out over the top of the soil and water in thoroughly.
Give the garden a blanket of cover to retain its moisture.
We first would use a thin layer of newspaper around the plants if possible, we then water this thoroughly then lay the mulch over the top. We recommend a finer grade bark mulch, sugar cane, lucerne or pea straw pellets or a straw mulch. Also water the garden beds before mulching and straight away after mulching to ensure there is good level of moisture in the soil.
Drought resistant plants
Select plants which you know can cope with lower levels of water.
Lay of the land
Terrace your garden areas so you have flat areas to work with or if you have sloping areas look at the possibility of having contour banks to redirect water or plant out your garden beds on these levels to catch the rain runoff.
More water tanks
In general if your roof has a gutter then you can connect a tank. Having the ability to store additional rain water is a huge advantage for your garden so that in extended periods of hot dry weather you have a back – up supply of water to use.
Check that you are using your water efficiently by having the correct irrigation system for your plant species and your water source. This is where you are best to use an irrigation specialist.
Relocate potted plants
Move your potted plants to shadier cooler spots for the summer months. Ensure that they have saucers which can store water on those hot days.
Time of the day you water garden
The most effective time to water your garden is in the early morning or evening so that the water does not evaporate too quickly. When you know there is an upcoming hot day, plan your week so you have the time to do additional hand watering the evening before or early morning of the high temperature days. The plants will also need to be watered in the late evening of the hot day.
Some plants such as new vegetable seedlings or flowering Hydrangea may benefit from having temporary shade structures installed around them. These shade structures may be as simple as an umbrella with a sheet hanging over the top of it. Ensure that whatever is used still allows some air movement around the foliage. Don’t just drape the sheet over the drop of the plant.
Using regular applications of seaweed emulsion like Eco Seaweed from Organic Crop Protectants will help reduce the plants stress in hot weather. If you haven’t started doing this, now is the time to start as we have a long hot Summer ahead.
Attempting to use of these tips and tools should help your garden stand up to the heat of the summer months.