Melbourne’s hot summer season is truly under way and it sure does put the pressure on our beautiful gardens. Below are some great tips to keep your garden in check during February.
Yes, we know… just hearing the word can make you grab a bag of chips and put on a movie. However, it REALLY IS a great job to get done at this time of year. It will keep the jungle at bay and you will honestly feel invigorated once it’s ticked off.
- Mulch all garden beds
Mulch all garden beds to preserve as much moisture as possible. It’s best to use organic material such as composted green waste. Our choice is “mulchmaster” from Fultons garden supplies. It’s a rich dark colour, so it also looks great.
- Water wisely
Watering is of course essential at this time of year. Early in the morning is always the best time. A nice long water a few times a week is much better for your garden than frequent, short watering. Fruit trees need a lot of water in the hot weather and if you have noticed that the fruit is dropping off before it’s ripe, this may be due to lack of water. Conversely, be careful not to over water plants such as Protea and succulents, as their roots can rot when the soil is too damp.
- Look after your pots
The soil in pots and planters can dry out very quickly in summer. Protect them with shade and be aware of their moisture levels. You can always check how moist the soil is by putting your finger a few centimetres into the mix.
Try to keep any black plastic pots out of the sun as they create more heat, increasing stress on plants.
- Dehead flowers
Dehead flowers such as dahlias, roses and hydrangea. This allows for new buds to develop and encourages your plants to flower longer into the autumn months.
- Bugs & Fertilising
Bugs are very active in summer and February is a month where they can really start to cause damage and disease in your plants. Conduct a good check over all your garden and cut away any leaves or flowers where you find disease. (Do not compost any diseased cuttings). Your local nursery can help you with products to ward off disease and bugs, and this is a wise time of year to sprinkle a little love dust or spray. It’s also a good idea to enrich your soil with some organic fertilisers. We suggest a seaweed solution and slow release pellets to avoid over fertilising during the hotter months.
- Raise mower blades
Raising mower blades will protect the roots of the grass from the harsh sun.
- Get onto those Veggie patches
Hopefully your summer veggies are now thriving and you are enjoying home grown delights! Even though it’s still fairly warm in Victoria, there are a number of great winter veggies you can start sowing seeds for now. Sow seeds for winter crops such as onions, silverbeet, Brussel sprouts (eek) and cauliflower. Broccoli, leeks and Asian greens are better towards the end of the month when the nights start cooling down. If sowing seeds is not your forte, keep an eye out at your local nursery for seedlings to purchase. And if any of your summer veggies are sadly on their way out, you can remove them now and tidy up the garden bed in preparation for autumn.