Summer Garden Maintenance Guide
With summer well and truly upon us, our gardens are screaming out for some love and attention. Here, we take a look at all the important summer seasonal aspects you’ll want to consider in the care and maintenance of your beautiful garden.
Spring is now in the rear vision mirror, having brought a flourish of life back into our gardens. But summer is an important time to continue the care and attention your garden needs to keep it looking great. As the temperatures rise, our gardens will require some extra effort to get them through with the best nutrients possible while ensuring soils are kept moist and healthy. But where to start?
It’s a good time of year to keep up with your fertilising to ensure good growth and reduce the stress on plants caused by hot sunny days and drying soils. You simply can’t beat a good dose of liquid gold – seaweed or fish! The best application is a foliage feed, using liquid fish or seaweed fertiliser. It’s also highly recommended to do this on an overcast or cloudy day allowing for maximum absorption. Remember that the stomata in the leaves - that allow absorption of fertiliser - is open on cloudy days and closed on sunny days. It’s always best to also apply in the early morning when it is much cooler. Spray should be dripping from the leaves when applied correctly.
As the mercury rises and the ground starts to dry out, plants will naturally suffer. Mulching is a wonderful way to ensure your soils retain as much moisture as possible, while also assisting to retard weed growth. Having plentiful mulch can also cut down on the time it takes to water while also being known for keeping the pests at bay. It’s important to keep the mulch damp as dry mulch is not a very nice environment for your plants and garden. Watering is important to allow the mulch to provide nutrients, while also protecting the soil underneath. Even though it can be a time-consuming practice, the benefits are wonderful and will create the perfect environment for healthy soils, plants, flowers, and vegetables.
Popping a new tree or plant into the garden? It’s important to have a good plan in place. Dig a hole big enough to fit the whole plant or tree into – the tree base should be level with the ground. Remove the tree/plant from the pot and carefully spread the roots apart. Prepare the hole with a good-quality soil mixture. Once the tree/plant is safely and securely in the ground; water well. If you live in a windy area or the plant is in an exposed spot in your garden, consider using a stake or bamboo stick to secure the plant and protect it from damage. This is particularly important for young trees.
Succulents are becoming a very popular choice for many gardens. Not only do they look wonderful they simply adore the sun, making them a perfect choice for many warmer climates. They are also super hardy and require little watering. They can make great attractive gardens and come in a range of sizes and varieties. Plus; they grow wonderfully in pots and can adorn an indoor environment easily. If growing inside, ensure you move them around so they can catch the best sunlight possible. Succulents will tend to bend to the sun, so if yours is looking a little lopsided, consider spinning the pot around.
#TopTIPDuring the warmer days, wear plenty of protection, stay hydrated and garden earlier in the morning to escape the summer heat.
It’s no surprise that in the summer our lovely lawns can take a beating. With the increase in heat and the decrease in water application abilities, many summer lawns can become a barrage of brown. It’s a good idea to remember that your mowing habits may also impact your lawn's ability to stay healthy. Always set your mower to a higher setting than in winter and spring to prevent burning and make sure you pick up any animal droppings before mowing - this can also burn your lovely lawns. If you notice brown patches caused by dog urine, consider researching alternatives that can help decrease the concentration of nitrogen in your dog’s waste (which is known to kill grass). Similar to pet urine – using too much nitrogen on your grass can also have an adverse reaction.
It’s all about maintenance and prevention. Keeping up with some simple monitoring and recognising issues quickly will help keep your gardens looking neighbourhood envious.
LAWNS - Army worm is a particularly rampant pest in lawns during their growing season. Monitor for dull and dry-looking patches that expand rapidly. Clusters of small green eggs can usually be found along the border of these patches, and green to black worms. Treat with a grub pesticide such as Yates Grub kill and protect for lawns or similar, at manufacturer’s rate and method of application.
PLANT PESTS - During summer/spring, the risk of pest infestation on plants intensifies. Wood-boring beetles are one of the most common pests that attack trees. An infestation is easy to spot as they leave small round or oval holes in trunks with white powdery timber dust at the hole exits. To mitigate their attacks, a borate-based product or solution can be used to seal off the wood such as Inshield, Eco-neem, Nisus Boracare, etc.
With a little care an attention your gardens can be looking great all year round. Happy gardening!