Plant Care in Summer: Top 5 tips to survive a heatwave
Here in Victoria, we get the 'best' of both worlds. Chilling frost in the winter that freezes plants and makes you want to stay in bed, all the way to boiling heat in the summer, that gives both plants and humans blistering sunburn.
Here at Dans, we know how hard it is to keep on top of summer watering, especially in the peak heat period. So, here are our top 10 tips to survive a summer heatwave.
1. Plant hardy, drought resistant plants in the first place.
Save yourself work and heartbreak by planting hardy plants and Aussie natives. Prevention is the best way to cope with summer sun, and by using plants that know how to deal with heat, you're saving yourself time, effort and heat exhaustion.
2. Use lots of mulch.
Mulch is a great way to make sure all that lovely water and nutrients stay inside the soil. Mulch adds that extra layer of protection and traps some of that moisture under the soil, as the sun isn’t directly hitting and heating it. You can even use a tiny layer of newspaper or weed mat, for that added layer of protection.
3. Don't prune, fertilize or re-pot during a high-stress period
Plants are in survival mode in heatwave season, the last thing they need is extra nutrients and help to grow. Let them rest and do their best during the highest heat period, and prune when it’s well and truly Autumn, or if necessary, save it for the cooler nights.
4. Deep watering to encourage deep root growth
This is one of the most important points of summer care - lots of water less frequently. Water long and deep, make sure you get as much water into those roots and into the cool earth that won't be as impacted by the heat, as the topsoil is constantly heated by the sun.
5. Create shade
Another super important prevention tip is to create shade before you need it. Add a shade cloth or a heat resistant shade tree to make sure the sun isn't beating down on your garden. This is also beneficial to you, as you can get heat damage just as easily, if not more easily than plants.
We hope this helps you and your garden survive the worst of summer. Remember, you are as susceptible to the heat as the plants, don't overexert yourself in the garden, or you might end up worse off than the plants.