How to Summer proof your garden

Hot, dry summers are typical in the Barossa Valley. Weeks upon weeks of hot weather with no rain is not uncommon.

It can be tough for plants and gardens to survive, let alone thrive in these conditions, but there are measures that you can take to help see your garden flourish through the summer months.

 

WATERING //

Obviously watering is a big factor in how well your garden does in the heat. But did you know the way you water is important?

Many people will put their drippers and sprinklers on every day for 10-20 minutes through the hot weather.

This is actually quite an inefficient way to water and the soil will often dry out quickly. This is because with such a short watering the water does not reach deep into the soil, rather stays close to the surface and subsequently so will plant roots.

The best way to water is to give your garden a long, slow soaking (drippers on for four hours or even slowly overnight) once a week, or twice a week in very hot weather.

This means the water will reach deep in the soil structure and plant roots will grow nice and deep and therefore not dry out so fast.

MULCH AND COMPOST //

Mulching makes a huge difference to how fast your soil dries out. A nice thick layer of mulch holds moisture in the soil as well as reducing weeds. Mulch also helps to keep the soil cooler underneath (insulation) and therefore keeps plant roots cooler.

If a plant’s roots are insulated against the heat with mulch they can withstand much hotter conditions than without.

When planting a plant, we recommend mixing a good compost through your existing soil. Not only does this add nutrients to your soil and improve your soil structure, but it will also help to hold moisture in the soil around plant roots.

PLANT SELECTION //

Plant selection and positioning in the garden is also important.

Take note of the conditions in your garden. You wouldn’t put a shade loving plant in full sun, or a plant that loves water in a dry, non irrigated garden.

Even if you have a garden that doesn’t get any water besides that which falls from the sky there are plants available for you.

Tough, hardy and drought tolerant plants, once established, will need little to no care – it’s all about selecting the right plants and the staff at Barossa Nursery are happy to help you.

WATER SAVING PRODUCTS //

Water saving products such as granular soil wetters and water crystals help to hold moisture in the soil and can make a huge difference in the need for watering.

There is a product called ‘Droughtshield’, which when sprayed onto the foliage of a plant, can be described as a ‘sunscreen for plants’. It is especially useful for plants which tend to suffer or burn in hot or sunny conditions and helps to reduce transpiration in the plant’s leaves.

Now is a great time to prepare your garden for the hot weather to come. Balmy summer nights are upon us.

There is little that can compare to enjoying these beautiful nights than sitting in your garden and enjoying the summer scents and sounds.

Happy gardening…

♦♦♦

Kristee Semmler of The Barossa Nursery

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