We’re having some pretty hot weather this summer, so here are a few tips to help your garden survive the heat.
Mulching is the first step; make sure that you have a good layer of mulch around your plants. This can be pea straw, sugar cane, pine bark or any of the other mulching products. Any of these will dramatically cut down the loss of water from around the plants root zone helping them cope with very hot days. Applying an application of Seasol or Go Go Juice to the soil regularly when doing new planting are also great ways to keep plants healthy in extreme heat.
Keep your irrigation in good working order, check regularly to make sure all the drippers / sprays are not blocked, fitting an irrigation filter is a must if not already done and maybe extend the run time to get water deeper into the root zone. Try to water with a hose early in the morning or late in the evening, this gives your plants the best opportunity to use the water you have applied.
You will have some plants looking a bit worse for wear with scorched foliage where they copped the brunt of the heat over the last few weeks. The temptation now is to go out and prune all that burnt foliage off to make the plant look better, but don’t do that yet.
It’s almost guaranteed that we will get more very hot days, February and March can both be extremely hot, and by pruning that damage off you encourage the plant to send out new, more delicate growth which is even more susceptible to the heat. Those damaged leaves will at least provide some protection for the rest of the plant underneath them and can be removed in five or six weeks time after the worst of summer has passed.