Keep Your Garden Thriving This Summer
Posted by Karli Ostle on Mon, Dec 2020
The garden is often the pride and joy of any homeowner. In front, it sets the tone for what to expect from the rest of the home, and in the backyard it serves as a beautiful backdrop for parties and family gatherings. In the warmer months, we tend to spend the majority of our time outside enjoying the sunshine, so a well-maintained garden is a top priority.
Unfortunately in Australia, our sometimes harsh summer conditions can wreak havoc on our gardens. Understanding what your plants need when it’s really hot and having a few tricks up your sleeve to combat these conditions, can really help your plants thrive.
A quality mulch such as hay will act as a natural insulator for your plants’ roots, keeping them both warm in winter and cool in summer. The added benefit of using a mulch like hay is that it will also nourish the soil as it breaks down.
Move your pots to a shady area
Plants kept in pots such as terracotta and clay will heat very quickly in the summer sun and can act almost like an oven, baking the roots. Move your pots to a shady spot to help alleviate this problem and keep them well watered. Do not stand your pots in saucers of water though, as this can encourage root rot and will attract mosquitoes.
Keep your lawn long
It is actually a misconception that the shorter you cut your lawn, the longer you need to wait between mows. Cutting it too short can lead to ‘scalping,’ the result of which is dry, patchy brown grass. Keeping your lawn longer and mowing on the highest setting possible will not only make it lush underfoot but will help the soil retain moisture and keep pesky weeds such as bindii at bay.
Clean your gutters and your watering systems
Ensuring your gutters are clean and free of blockages will help you maximise any rainwater going into your tanks. Make sure your hoses and watering systems are also free of any blockages, any holes or tears are repaired, and broken fittings replaced. This will help ensure you are using your water effectively.
Water in the mornings
Watering your garden in the coolest part of the day will help your plants retain moisture the best. Watering before 10am is optimal but if you need to water in the afternoon, make sure that you give your plants’ leaves time to dry out so that mildew doesn’t form. You’re also more likely to have to do battle with mozzies and sandflies in the afternoon!
Plant heat tolerant species
With the dry heat, sandy coastal soil and often sporadic rainfall we can experience in a Victorian summer, it might be best to design your garden around the right kind of plants suited to our climate. While consulting a professional landscaper who can advise on the best species for your particular garden will always be the best course of action, it’s hard to go wrong with certain types of plants. Natives, cacti, succulents, yukkas and olive trees are all attractive, heat-tolerant species that work well in most gardens.
Gardens are an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to the overall value of your home. Your front garden – the curb appeal – is the first impression a potential buyer will have of your property and will often stay with them long after they have entered the front door. The backyard is where most families will spend time during summer, so making sure it is attractive, well maintained and the layout is inviting, will make it memorable for a buyer. By keeping your garden looking fresh and vital this summer, you’ll never miss an opportunity to make a great impression.