Gardening Tips for Summer to Ensure Your Garden is Looking its Best in 2022

Yellow flowers in sunshine

Is your garden ready for outdoor entertaining this summer?

With the mercury rising, now is the time to ensure that your garden is looking its best and is prepared to withstand any challenging hot, dry weather.

Yellow flowers in sunshine

With summer upon us, keen gardeners are busy making preparations to ensure that their garden flourishes during the warmer months.

While many southern and central Australian gardens bake dry in the scorching heat, tropical areas of the north often see heavy downpours and floods.

Gardens across Australia will face challenges during the summer and gardeners will need to take steps to prepare their gardens to survive the wilting effects of the Australian sun.

Here are some summer gardening tips to ensure your plants are ready to beat the heat.

Keep your potted plants cool

Potted plants don’t get the benefit of the cool earth to soak their roots into and are especially vulnerable to overheating during the summer months.

Give your potted plants a good layer of mulch and try to keep them out of the worst of the afternoon sun.

Don’t make the mistake of leaving your pots in saucers of water – this encourages root rot and gives mosquitos a place to breed.

Instead, fill your saucers with sand and keep the sand moist. This will keep the roots of your plants cool and healthy.

If your potted plants dry out to the point where re-wetting is difficult, soak them in a bucket of water for half an hour.

Avoid mildew with early watering

The best time to water your garden is in the cool of the day – morning or evening.

If you plan on watering in the evening, ensure you leave enough time and sunlight for the foliage to dry.

If your plants make it past sunset with wet leaves, they are far more susceptible to growing mildew.

A long lawn is a happy lawn

Brown and bare summer lawns are a symptom of scalping – cutting them too short.

Though lawns grow faster in summer, and you may be tempted to cut them short to avoid extra work, your lawn will suffer.

Instead, mow your lawn as high as your lawnmower allows.

Your lawn will flourish, meaning weeds will have less chance to grow through. For an extra-lush lawn, feed your lawn a seaweed tonic once a month and apply a sprinkling of poultry manure every season.

Keeping a lavish lawn can be hard work. But if you want a soft, trim carpet to walk and play on throughout summer, you could consider outsourcing lawn maintenance to a professional.

Just make sure you choose a company well-known for excellence in lawn care (because a novice can easily scalp and ruin your lawn!) and know that any reputable business will offer a discount for regular maintenance.

Keep the water flowing

The lead up to summer is a great time to check on your watering systems, as this is when you’ll need them most. This is particularly important if you plan to go away on holidays during the summer. To keep the water flowing freely to your thirsty plants:

  • Check your hoses and irrigation systems for leaks and blockages.
  • Clean your gutters (or call in a professional to get onto the roof for you) to remove blockages so that every drop of rainwater can make it into your rainwater tank.
  • Ensure that pests aren’t getting into your water tank. If you have a mosquito or frog problem, install a firm mesh to keep pests away or contact Jim’s Pest Control for professional assistance.

Take care of yourself, too!

Although you may want to go out and rescue your plants during the high heat of the day, taking care of yourself is far more important.

On days when high temperatures are forecast, try to get up and out into your garden early, ideally finishing any gardening jobs before 10am.

Drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen, because you know that the five-minute job you plan to do will always lead to another and another and another!

If you are determined to get into your garden during the middle of a hot day, try to plan ahead to do some plant propagation or weeding in a cool, shaded area of your yard.

And don’t forget, nothing feels nicer on a sunburn than some fresh, homegrown aloe vera smeared straight from the leaf.

Tree stumps

Assess your trees for drought damage

Trees can take many years to show the effects of drought damage. Though most trees are generally hardy, some species can find long summer months difficult to flourish in.

It’s also worth noting that drought damage can be harmful to more than just the tree. When a tree has been subjected to extended drought conditions before a sudden downpour of rain, those thirsty roots drink up as much water as they can. But their prolonged exposure to drought can leave the tree weak, and the sudden weight of the water can cause heavy limbs to snap and fall, potentially causing significant damage or harm.

Well-meaning tree owners will often provide water on hot days but don’t understand that watering a tree is not like watering a plant.

Trees roots run deep – therefore, the water needs to as well.

When you habitually shallow water your trees, they will grow shallow roots, making them unstable and unable to find their own water.

If you have concerns about your trees this summer, call a trained arborist to come and assess your trees for damage.

Protect your babies

New plants and seedlings need a bit of sun hardening before they can thrive.

If you’re planting in the middle of summer, protect your babies with a shade cloth, some dead palm or fern fronds or simply some old curtain netting for a few weeks while they adjust to their new environment.

Keep an eye out for pests

Termites can wreak havoc on your house, but outdoors they can actually perform the same beneficial services as your beloved earthworms.

If you have termites living in your garden, you will need to be careful not to leave wood-handled garden tools lying on the ground and keep an eye on your wooden stakes for signs of damage.

A garden can live in harmony with termites, but a house certainly cannot. To keep termites away from your home, avoid spreading wood mulch close to the house and keep soil within one meter from the house dry to deter their foraging.

These are not foolproof methods of keeping termites at bay, so if you suspect they have made their way into your house, call on your local pest control specialists to deal with the problem before it gets out of hand.

Jim’s Group provides professional tree care, mowing and pest control services across Australia.

If you would like a free quote and consultation on any of the services mentioned in this article, please get in touch with Jim’s Group today by phoning 13 15 46.