Summer garden fun

Summer garden fun

With the festive season in full swing and Summer's heat increasing, your garden is most likely thriving, enjoying the good weather as much as you! But don’t forget, while there is less planting to do during these hot months, there is still plenty that needs to be done to keep things running smoothly. Moreover, during the holiday season our gardens can become neglected with all the travelling, visiting, outings and garden parties. Having help on hand if you need it means you can head off on holiday without worrying about your garden!

I) Friends make good gardeners

If you are planning on heading away for the summer, be sure to plan ahead to guarantee your garden will get the care it needs. Enlist the help of a neighbour, friend or family member and reward them with the fruits of your labour, insisting they help themselves to whatever they harvest. Not only will this ensure your garden is taken care of, it will also avoid your harvest going to waste. And as everyone knows, sharing is caring! To help them with their task, you can provide them with a list of small jobs that will need doing while you are away, such as the following:

  • Ensuring your plants get water is vital! Once a day is best, but at the height of summer many Australian gardeners will have to follow watering guidelines. Watering in the early morning or cooler evening helps plants absorb water without the sun evaporating it. Finally, deep watering is best, to ensure the water reaches the roots.
  • Build a couple of shade cloth tents before you go, so they are ready and waiting if your helper needs them. Installing simple, movable shade structures for days over 30 degrees will protect your plants from the midday sun. “Between 11 and 1 stay out of the sun” is a great reminder for both you and your plants.
  • Don’t forget your fruit trees either! Check the netting is holding fast, to protect your fruit from the birds while you’re away. Parrots, corellas and cockatoos won’t hesitate to take advantage your absence! Harvest any early fruit to encourage later crops.
  • While you are away, your garden weed patrol needs to be maintained. If you are away for an extended period, leave a good systemic weed killer, like Roundup, somewhere safe for your garden helper to use if they think the weeds are getting out of control.
  • Keeps ponds refilled, especially if there are fish, plants and other aquatic creatures living in them. Top up once a week, but be sure to abide by water use guidelines.
  • Finally, make sure your helper harvests everything that matures while you are away to ensure it doesn’t get wasted or start rotting. This will only encourage disease and will waste the plant’s energy. In case there is too much for your helper to take home, leave a box at the front gate where they can put the leftover produce for passers-by to take.

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