Date posted: 01 December 2015
Botanic Gardens staff give you their summer garden checklist
The mercury's rising, which means it's time to get your garden prepared for the heat. We asked Botanic Gardens curators their tips for keeping your plants healthy:
Mulch, mulch, mulch
It helps to conserve soil moisture, aiding your plants from drying out too quickly and allowing you to conserve water as you won’t need to water as regularly. Mulching also supresses weeds and if you use organic stuff the gradual breakdown of material will add nutrients to your soil.
Avoid strong chemical fertilisers that encourage lots of soft leaf growth (you don’t want this on extreme heat days as the plants will stress more trying to cope). Instead use a fertiliser that encourages root growth, like Neutrog’s GOGO Juice. Adding this to your plants in the cool of morning will aid the plants’ resistance to disease and heat stress throughout summer.
How to water?
Watering deeply encourages plants to develop a larger and stronger root mass, rather than more frequent shallow watering, which makes plants more drought and heat-resistant. Check your irrigation systems regularly to ensure they're working properly.
Lend a hand
Protect vulnerable plants with shadecloth where possible – think of it as slip, slop, slap for your plants!
On that note…
don’t forget to protect your own skin from harmful UV rays this summer when out in the garden – slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek shade where possible (heading out in the morning can beat the heat) and slide on sunnies!