How to have a stand-out summer garden

Despite the heat and humidity, summer can be a great time to head outdoors and tend to the garden. Because different plants flourish in different conditions, below are four helpful hints for ensuring your garden is a stand-out even as the mercury rises.

Know which plants withstand the heat: There are a number of plants tailor-made by nature to cope with hot, dry conditions. These are perfect for people living with water restrictions, or in very dry climates. Varieties like Euphorbia’s, Sedums, Lavenders, Rock Roses (Cistus), and perennial Statice (Limonium perezii) are very resistant. Australian natives can be strong performers in a drier climate, and some of the more popular varieties include Lomandra, low mounding Acacias like ‘Mini Cog’ and Grevilleas or grey-leaved plants like Lamb’s Ears (Stachys byzantina).

Know which plants prefer the cool: If you live in a cooler climate, now is a great time to get warm season vegetables like tomatoes, capsicums, eggplants, sweet corn and chillies into the ground. Perennial plants like Achilleas, Salvias, Rudbeckias, Gaillardias and Asters shine through during the warmer months and provide colour through the height of summer and often into autumn. It’s also nice to decorate summer entertaining areas with ornamental pots filled with brightly-coloured annuals like Petunias, Marigolds, Snapdragons and Impatiens.

Consider some fruit varieties: Miniature fruit trees like ‘Lots a Lemons’, a dwarf form of the (regular-sized) Meyer Lemon and ‘Nectazee’, a miniature nectarine tree that grows to just 1.5 metres tall with a big, juicy crop of fruit, are great growers during this time of year as long as they receive plenty of water.

Keep them hydrated: Plants seeded in summer need to be kept particularly hydrated, so watering them every day is of course a must. Young seedlings in particular can quickly wilt in the heat. It’s possible to help ease plants into their new home by applying a seaweed-based plant tonic every two weeks, which can help to promote strong healthy roots, and reduce stress from heat and drought. Also, applying a good layer of organic mulch around plants will help conserve moisture and reduce weed growth.

Posted by Charles Tarbey on 01/12/2014 at 12:00 AM | Categories:

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