Gardens can suffer from heat stress, lack of water or both during our long hot summers. We can’t change the weather but there are a few things we can do to help protect our gardens during December and January.
· Effective watering - apply a soil wetting agent like Yates® Waterwise™ Soil Wetterover the soil in garden beds and potted plants and water it in well. This will help to break down the waxy, water repellent layer that can develop on soil and potting mix and promote better penetration of moisture down into the root zone where it’s needed. Yates Waterwise Soil Wetter is available in a concentrate that is applied in a watering can or in a hose-on pack that makes treating water repellent soil over large garden beds quick and easy.
· Mulching – spreading mulch over garden beds, vegie patches and on the top of pots will help to reduce the amount of moisture lost from the soil. It also helps to protect the soil surface from the baking summer sun.
· Find the shade – move sensitive potted plants into a more shaded location, where they are sheltered from the harshest afternoon sun.
· Foliage protection – apply an anti-transpirant like Yates Waterwise DroughtShield™over the foliage of summer-vulnerable plants like hydrangeas. Yates DroughtShield can help reduce moisture loss from foliage as well as helping to reduce sunburn. For best results water the plants thoroughly beforehand and spray before stress conditions occur, preferably in the cool of the day. Spray both sides of leaves and stems to the point of run off.
Extra watering tips: it’s best to water in the cool of the morning to help prepare plants for the hot day ahead and 1-2 thorough and deep waterings a week are better than more frequent lighter waterings.