Australian summers can be lethal. The heat can be exhausting and relentless. But while you can head inside to escape the sun and the heat, your garden is stuck with the elements. Luckily, by understanding the simple mechanics of how to help your garden during the warmer months, it can actually thrive over summer.
If you haven’t yet planted your garden, or you’re looking to add some new plants, using native flora can be an excellent addition. Native Australian plants have evolved to handle the harsh Australian conditions, so they have a better chance to survive and thrive in the blazing heat. By effectively choosing plants you know will suit your climate, you’re giving them a much better chance at life.
Not only will they grow well in the climate, but they also require little maintenance. After all, native plants can grow on their own in the wild, so they can grow on their own in your garden.
So what choices do you have?
Spotted Emu Bush
This one is great for those who don’t have much gardening experience. Spotted Emu Bush is drought tolerant and low maintenance. All you have to do is position it in a place that gets a lot of sun and it will reward you with beautiful red-purple flowers.
This native flora doesn’t grow too large so it’s perfect for garden beds or pot plants. Plant in a sun-drenched spot in well-drained soil and it will flower from late winter right through to summer. It’s best in temperate climates such as Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne.
The Waratah is truly iconic and simply beautiful to look at. While they’re a bit harder to maintain, the results are worth it. Waratahs grow best in NSW but they need to be in a protected area from the wind.
The perfect plant to decorate a fence, front door or wall, the Happy Wanderer usually has purple flowers but it’s also available in white and pink too. A little bit of water, some shade and well-drained soil and it will wander up and down walls without much prompting.
In summer, it can be tempting to water your garden often. But watering the garden too often can actually do more damage than good. When it comes to our gardens, it’s actually about training the plants to survive on one solid watering session a week during summer.
This effectively means they’ll search for water themselves by pushing their roots down lower into the soil. If you keep watering the plants every day, they’ll begin to rely on the water coming from the hose, and they’ll keep their roots high on the surface. Miss and day and you’ll face a depleted garden.
With this in mind, early morning is the best time of day to water the plants. Resist watering during the hottest part of the day. During this time, most of the water actually evaporates before it reaches the plants and the soil. Water any later in the day and the soil will stay wet overnight, which encourages fungus to grow. It’s also a good idea to add mulch and compost to your soil. This helps the soil to retain water and avoids evaporation.
Finally, it’s a good idea to stay on top of your weeding. Remember, weeds also need water to grow, so if they’re hanging around, they’re going to take the much-needed water away from your plants. The cleaner you keep the garden, the more water your plants will receive.
Go go gadget
The introduction of new technologies can drastically help your garden. And we’re not just talking about sprinkler systems. There are now technologies being invented to alert you when your plants actually need water, drones that water the garden for you, and even pods that measure data on water temperature.
Even the traditional sprinkler system has had a technological upgrade, with many systems now able to control the amount of water it sprays at different distances. There are also systems that remind you to water the garden and how much water it needs.
Or why not create a smart garden, that takes care of its own needs, watering itself when after by reading the weather report on its own?
Wetting agents, that soak into the soil, coating the particles with an agent that actually attracts water can also help. It means the soil can hold onto the water for longer periods of time, so your plants have access to it for longer.
Keep your garden green
Maintaining your garden during summer doesn’t have to be so hard. You just need to be organised. Choosing the right type of plants and understanding when to water is key to keeping your garden lush over the warmer months. Mow the lawn regularly, remember to weed often, utilise sun umbrellas if necessary and water as needed, and you’ll get to enjoy a lovely, green garden, no matter the weather.
Get in touch with our team , we’ll help you find the perfect natural stones for you to use in your green garden.