Summer in Australia generally means endless blue skies, long warm days, and hours of sunshine to enjoy. But all that harsh heat, combined with lack of rainfall and water, can leave your garden in a little bit of distress.
Whether you’re looking to install new irrigation or overhaul your garden design for summer, our team at Looking Good Landscaping have compiled our top tips for keeping your summer garden alive and thriving.
- Mulch, Mulch, Mulch
When the heat of summer kicks in, mulch is the protective blanket your soil needs to stay cool, retain moisture, and suppress any pesky weeds.
Our top tip is to apply ground cover mulch in mid to late spring at a thickness of around 5cm – 7.5cm around your existing plants.
- Install Irrigation for Plants & Garden Beds
Irrigation is one of the most efficient ways to water plants in the garden, ensuring the water gets to the roots of the plants where it’s needed rather than evaporating on surfaces or running off onto paving.
- Repair Existing Reticulation
If you’re not ready to install irrigation as part of your garden design, the next best thing is to make sure your existing reticulation is in working order.
There’s no point having sprinklers that spray the fence or driveway instead of the lawn or garden bed, so put reticulation repairs at the top of your ‘to do’ list before summer rolls around.
- Adjust Watering Times
The ideal time to water your garden in summer is first thing in the early morning before the sun begins to bite. This will reduce evaporation,
Avoid watering your garden at the end of the day or as the sun is setting, as the stagnant water can cause fungal issues.
Make sure to only water on your allocated days – check out the watering day for your home on the Water Corporation website.
- Mow at the Right Height
In the heat of summer, it is best to raise the cutting height of your lawnmower. This will protect the roots of the lawn and stop it from drying out as quickly.
Bonus tip – Much like the rules around watering the garden, you should aim to mow the lawn earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the harsh sun scorching the cut blades of grass.
- Protect Plants with Extra Shade
While native plants are more acclimatised to the heat, other plant varieties such as fruit trees, vegetables, and seedlings can benefit from some extra shade.
For plants in pots, move them into a more shaded position for the summer months. If that isn’t possible, it may be worthwhile investing in a temporary shade solution, such as a shade cloth screen or fine netting.
- Control Weeds
Weeds compete with plants in your garden for water and nutrients, so it is important to keep them under control.
Different types of weeds require different treatment or removal methods; weeds like dandelion should be treated with a broadleaf weed killer, while painful bindii weeds should use a selective herbicide. Other weeds can simply be pulled out of the ground, with roots in tact, to stop growth.
- Choose Native and Waterwise Plants
Native Australian plants are acclimatised to the harsh local climate, so they generally require much less watering and maintenance than introduced varieties.
Some of the best natives to incorporate in a hardy summer garden include common everlasting, lilly pilly, bottlebrush, coastal wattle, banksia.
- Avoid Using Harmful Pesticides
While it may be tempting to use pesticides to keep pesky insects away from your fragile plants during summer, consider using a more natural pesticide instead.
Opting for more natural or homemade insecticides can help to rid your plants of pests while looking after the health of your family, four-legged friends, and hard-working pollinators, such as bees, in your garden.
- Fertilise the Garden and Lawn
Applying fertiliser to lawn and plants in the spring time will help to boost your garden with much-needed nutrients before the heat sets in. If you’re planning to mulch – as you should be for summer – make sure to apply your fertiliser first.
However, be selective on which plants to apply fertiliser to. Plants like Australian natives have adapted to the climate and soil conditions, so high amounts of some nutrients in fertiliser may kill them.
Keep Your Garden Looking Good This Summer
Get prepared for summer with a call to the team at Looking Good Landscaping.
With more than 24 years of experience in the industry, we have a range of happy clients across the Perth metropolitan region, particularly around the Baldivis, Rockingham, and Secret Harbour area.
Contact the team at Looking Good Landscaping today for advice, reticulation repairs, garden design and more.