Summer is fast approaching, and what a time it is. Time off from work, spent at the beach or firing up the barbie with your nearest and dearest. Christmas presents and New Year’s Eve parties. Long evenings spent in the back yard, with a cool drink at hand and your garden growing lush around you. However, all that warm weather can be a green thumb’s mortal enemy. Let’s check out six ways you can summer-proof your garden.
Keep it Watered
Plants need water to survive. Rain is not the most common occurrence during the hotter months, and those direly needed showers can be few and far between. You need to ensure your garden stays wet and watered during summer. A sprinkler system can be a great way to do this. You can set it on a timer, so you don’t have to worry about wasting water or a giant water bill. If this isn’t your cup of tea, make sure you get out there with the hose every morning and night!
Keep Your Soil Cool and Moist
You want ideal growing conditions for your plant friends, and cool and moist soil is your best bet. But exactly how are you going to achieve that when the weather is so hot and dry? A good layer of mulch is a great place to start. You can pick up mulch from your local hardware chain, and you are spoiled for choice. There is pea straw, pebbles, pine bark or sugar cane, all of which function as a protective layer. An added plus here is that mulch helps keeps the weeds at bay, too, so you’ll save time down the track that you’d usually spend weeding.
Prepare in Spring
It’s ultra-important that you get the ball rolling in spring, so you’re not left high and dry in summer. Firstly, remove any dead flowers from your plants. If you leave these on, you run the risk of those plants going to seed.
Secondly, keep an eye out for pests and disease. If your plants come down with the sickness during summer, they can find it harder to bounce back. You want to identify and treat any conditions in spring, before it gets too hot.
Finally, apply some slow-release fertiliser to your smaller shrubs to give them a boost of energy during summer. If you have mature, established shrubs, skip this process.
Some plants are a lot like schoolchildren, they need firm boundaries in order to flourish. We’re talking about those aggressive plants that like to take over the rest of the garden. Talk about pushy! Summer is a great time for these cheeky muffins, as they have more sunlight to power their growth. Take some action to restrict their movement.
One trick to achieve this is to pop them in a large pot, cut the bottom of the pot off then plant everything in the ground! Yes, including the pot. The plant will look like it’s growing from the ground, but the pot will contain the growth.
Prune, Prune, Prune
Spring is the best time to do some serious cutting back. Target your woody ornamental shrubs – such as rose bushes and hydrangeas. Ensure you use good quality gardening tools to do this, because you want a nice clean cut. Cut just above dominant buds, or close to the main trunk of the plant.
There You Are
Prune back certain shrubs, contain aggressively growing plants, do the majority of your prep work during springtime, install a sprinkler system and keep your soil cool and moist and your garden should survive the upcoming summer!