18 Dec Tips to Beat the Heat in the Garden this Summer
Tips to Beat the Heat in the Garden this Summer
We are well & truly into the swing of summer, & while we might be cool as cucumbers thanks to the miracle of mod cons (namely, aircon) we might wonder how we can best prepare our gardens for this blistering heat. Sarah K, our resident green thumb, shares her top tips for keeping your garden in good shape (well, alive…) over the hot period of the year:
How cool is shade! Planting trees and shrubs that provide afternoon shade can help in so many ways. Shading smaller plants and veggie patches from becoming scorched and can also help create a microclimate to reduce heat and facilitate a nice cool breeze through the house. Otherwise if trees don’t suit, transient structures like marquees, hoop houses etc can still work. Pinterest has all the creative shade activities.
Watering in the early morning or evening are more efficient methods. Avoiding watering during the middle of the day can reduce the water lost through evaporation. Sprinklers v Drippers? Depends upon the plants being watered. Leafy greens such as kale that are prone to aphids love a bit of pest disturbance from a squirt with the hose or sprinkler, whilst cucumbers, zucchinis, tomatoes prefer to keep their leaves dry to avoid mildew that can occur from damp conditions.
Mulching not only keeps weeds down but insulates the soil and reduce water evaporation on hot days. Choosing a mulch that allows rainfall to soak through, such as pea straw, finer leaf mulches and barks are great choices. Watch out for those trickster mulches that have been artificially coloured, as they will soon fade and are hard to colour match when just wanting a top up 😉 How thick? 35-50mm max. Too thick and the soil will cook a little… and rainfall has a hard time soaking through.
Choosing native plants for full sun areas can reduce the number of sacrifices made. Australian Natives can fit in most gardens, from formal to more relaxed, suiting all colour palettes. If Natives aren’t for you, choosing some hardy shade providing plants can help you babysit the less hardy ones you have your heart set on.
Paved and concrete areas can absorb and radiate quite a bit of heat! Having them unshaded close to the house can contribute towards a nice warm breeze through the house and hot feet when walking to the clothesline! If wanting paved or concrete surfaces, having natural or human made shade over it (especially in the afternoon) can reduce it heating up. #bringbacklawn? If tended to organically, lawn assist in keeping ground temperature down. Sir Walter Buffalo seems to be a summer hardy lawn that can live on 1-2 waters per week during summer.