Welcome to 2020! We took a couple of days off over the holiday period but we’re back at it and back in the garden. The Oaks Cafe will also be open again from tomorrow.
On hot days it’s important to keep both you and your garden hydrated. Give your plants a good drink to keep them cool and they should continue to thrive.
If you have any questions or concerns about summer gardening, pop in and ask one of our team members. We have eight qualified horticulturalists to help you out and provide solutions!
Summer is the season of colour and of productivity. Keep the water up and you will have an abundance of fruit and veggies and a cacophony of colour. Hibiscus, Bougainvillea, Mandevillea, and Gardenia are all finally getting the warmth they like and are now flowering and growing well. Food, warmth, sunshine and water allow these plants to operate at peak growing levels. Vincas, Petunias and Impatiens are still ideal to plant for late Summer and Autumn colour.
Mid-summer is traditionally the time to look at rejuvenating many plants. It is the best month to prune English and French Lavender, which are at their lowest growing ebb and able to have enough warmth to support a full flush of recovery growth. Prune them as hard as you can whilst still leaving some foliage to draw the sap up and stimulate new growth. Never prune to bare wood or they will die.
I also prune a lot of long-flowering, warm-loving perennials like Gaura, many Salvia, Heliotrope, and Fuchsia in January. Pruning now allows these plants to have a recovery growth flush in the warmth of summer and flower nicely all through autumn to winter. We are also pruning many of our roses now at the end of their second flush of flowers. Pruning and feeding now will encourage a third flush of growth and flowers. Autumn is a kinder season for many plants and a summer prune means a rejuvenated plant with the ability to flower well all through autumn.
Hydrangea macrocarpa should also be pruned now. A January prune back by 50-70% ensures that your plants will flower from October to December and will cope better through the hotter part of summer.
Things to do:
- After pruning, always feed your plants with a complete fertiliser to promote new growth and flowers. Go for one with more than seven percent potassium for more flowers and make sure to water it in.
- If you haven’t already, use a wetting agent and good mulch on your garden. This can make things much easier for you and your plants over the summer by maximising water penetration into the soil and minimising water loss.
- On a hot day the best way to cool heat-stressed plants is to hose them down. It cools the plant and reduces the need to transpire so much water to cool itself. This does not burn the foliage, in fact it reduces burning from dehydration.
- Keep up the watering on your veggie garden especially. Don’t allow fruiting plants to dry out whilst forming fruit or the fruit will lack flavour, juice and quality.
- Watch out for beetle grub in your lawn. They eat roots and cause dead patches in otherwise healthy lawns.
- Watch out for Green Leaf Beetle nibbling leaves on Lilly Pillies.
- Watch out for mites sucking the foliage dry on roses and other plants. Mites are a very small sap-sucking member of the spider family that love the dryer weather.
Plant of the Month
Lagerstroemia, more commonly known as Crepe Myrtle, is native to India. They love the heat and flower well through summer and into autumn. They are also happy to be planted out during summer. Crepe Myrtles are just getting started now that the weather has warmed up. We have a wide selection of both tall and dwarf varieties. Some of our favourites are Sioux, Natchez and Tuscarora.
Generally Crepe Myrtles love a warm and sunny position with well-drained soil. Always plant them up on a mound of improved soil to ensure good drainage and a successful plant.