Gardening Tips For The Summer

Sunday, June 23, 2019

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Good preparation is critical for your garden to survive the wilting effects of the summer. Summer means different things to different gardeners. For all of us, summer brings common challenges, such as dividing time and effort between keeping our gardens in good shape, and enjoying them during the summer holidays.

Take care of budding plants

Does your camellia drop its buds and flowers? As camellias initiate budding in summertime, sudden loss of buds and flowers is often a consequence of the plants drying out, particularly when they are growing in containers. Mulch and water deeply once or twice weekly during hot, dry weather to limit this common and irritating problem.

Help pots to stay cool

Potted plants, especially those in terracotta pots, are prone to overheating. Lightly mulch and, where possible, position them out of hot sunshine. Remember that standing potted plants in saucers of water encourages root rot and mosquito breeding. Instead, stand them in saucers filled with sand, and keep the sand moist. This ensures roots stay cool and plants remain healthy. If potted plants dry out to the point where rewetting is hard, soak them in a bucket of water for half-hour, then drain.

 

Water early to prevent mildew

The best time to water is in the morning, but, if you water in the afternoon, allow enough time for foliage to dry out before sunset. This reduces the risk of mildew and other fungi attacking leaves, and there's less chance you'll get caught by the evening shift with mosquitoes or sandflies. Mildew frequently attacks roses, pumpkin, melon, zucchini and cucumber.

 

Protect new plantings

Freshly planted vegetable and flower seedlings are likely to need a bit of sun-hardening. Shelter them with 50 per cent shadecloth, old net curtains, dead palm fronds, or leafy branches for a week or two. This helps them establish without harm.

 

Boost trace elements

Magnesium encourages robust growth and the production of energy in plants. Gardenias and roses in particular benefit from supplementary magnesium in summer. Also apply it to cymbidium orchids to help initiate flower buds. Add 1 heaped tsp of Epsom salts to 4.5l of water. Either spray the foliage, or water it in at the roots. If the leaves of citrus, banksia, grevillea, camellia or azalea become stunted and mottled yellow, now is also the time to boost the iron content of soil by applying iron chelates. This acidifies soil and adds iron necessary for healthy growth. It takes a month or so to see a result.

 

Information courtesy of: https://www.homestolove.com.au


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