Winter is over and Spring is upon us! Those cold morning frosts and barren yards have been replaced by spectacular blossoms, trees with leaves, and all the wonderful smells of spring.
But don’t get too comfortable just yet, our harsh Aussie summer is just around the corner, and now is the time to wrestle back control of your garden from the icy grip of winter. Here are 5 important things you should be doing right now to get your garden ready for the Summer.
Watering your garden is a no brainer, but it is important to water plants properly, especially before the hotter months begin to hit. A good long, deep, soaking water is the best approach. This will encourage your plants to send roots deep down into your soil to chase the water, rather than having shallow top roots a few cm from the surface. When summer rolls around, this means that these deep roots have access to moist soil for longer than roots in the shallow upper soil area that is much quicker to dry out, meaning that on those stinkers, you’re less likely to lose your favourite shrub!
Mulch, Mulch, Mulch!
It’s such a simple way to keep your garden the happiest it can be through summer. Mulch acts is a couple of ways; by protecting the soil from direct sunlight and heat, and by adding organic matter as it breaks down. In summer, we’re most interested in its protection of our soil. Keeping away sunlight and heat means less moisture is lost from the soil, meaning more for your plants! A good covering of fine wood chips or sugar cane mulch about 15-20 cm deep is the best way to go. Combine this with the watering style we just mentioned, and you’re sure to beat those hot summer days.
Hack and Slash
If you’ve fallen out of love with an overgrown shrub or tree during winter and want to give it a heavy prune, now is the time. Giving it a good haircut just above a node or bud with clean sharp tools during the cooler spring months, followed by plenty of water, will allow the plant to recover with minimal stress. Your plants should be coming out of their winter dormancy around about now, and should bounce back pretty quickly before the hot months come. The closer it gets to summer, the smaller this window gets. Too close to summer, the heavy prune and hot days will cause too much stress, with possible fatal consequences.
Food for thought
If you’re into your veggies, now is the time to get cracking on your summer crop.
You should be getting your soil ready by introducing organic matter and composts to your gardens. Manure, composts, and some trace element fertiliser are best. Mixing this through your soil not only gives your plants the nutrients they need, it can also help with water retention.
Other things to consider for your veggie patch are structures for beans or tomatoes to grow on, companion plantings for pest control, and most importantly, what you want to eat!
Tomatoes, chillies, capsicums, zucchinis and a lot of leafy vegetables are easy and fun to grow in summer.
Take a load off
Go buy a seat. No really. Buy yourself a nice seat and place it in your favourite part of your garden. Hammocks are good, too. You’ve worked so hard on making your garden a place you like, and it is there to be enjoyed. So take some time to savour your backyard paradise, and enjoy our amazing summer days.
By following these five simple and easy steps, you’ll be enjoying your happy and thriving garden all summer long.