Louise Hannemann shares summer gardening advice with the Tatiara

The hot dry weather has reminded us of what we can expect for the next two months. 

These days summer seems to last a long time, so prior planning and preparation will see your garden looking its best all through the summer.

If you put the following tips into action you may be pleasantly surprised and your garden will be looking surprisingly healthy by the end of summer.

The results at the end of summer will be seen in the planning your have done and early morning is the only way to keep on top of any jobs that need to be done to keep your garden looking beautiful.  

Hopefully, you have mulched your garden back in spring. 

Mulching will keep your plants’ roots cool and help maintain moisture in the soil, as well as rotting down and improving your soil. There are so many benefits from mulching!

Cutback spring flowering perennials that have finished flowering.  This can promote another flush of flowers later in the season.  It also helps maintain the look of the plants. Make sure the weather is going to be relatively cool when you cut back, if it is too hot you may kill the plants by giving them too much stress to cope with in the heat.   

With the holidays fast approaching train your plants to be more water efficient by giving them a good soak and then waiting for at least a week to 10 days before you give them another good deep water. 

This should keep their roots going deeper and searching for moisture, which leads to stronger plants that can cope with longer periods of dryness.   

Keep new trees alive during summer by giving them a good soak once a week.

Place the dripping hose in the same spot each time so that the trees develop their water seeking roots in this area. 

Don't forget to keep your pots well watered too.  If you are going away for a long period organise a friend to water your garden or pots for you. 

Deadhead roses after flowering to encourage new growth and give them a top up of organic fertiliser.  

Check agapanthus plants for mealy bug.  This has been a pest in recent years around the Tatiara. 

Look for wilting/yellowing leaves. Mealy bugs are little oval pests with a white furry appearance and love to hide in between the leaves of agapanthus.

If spotted spray them with white oil in the evening and wash oil off in the morning to prevent leaf burn.

Finish tip pruning natives so that they remain bushy rather than becoming leggy.

Make bucket watering more effective by digging a shallow trench or basin around the plant’s drip ring.

It is best to water in the evening to give the plants optimum time to recover their moisture levels lost through the day from transpiration.

Morning is preferable to watering during the day but if a plant is looking really stressed then some water in the middle of the day is better than none.

Be careful not to overwater plants.  Overwatering can dispel the air in the soil which is essential for root development, and the plant will die from suffocation.

If there is a heatwave coming water your plants well in the evening and protect new seasons plants with some shade cloth or other shading structure.

Removing spent blooms from plants under stress will quickly reduce their stress levels.

Also leave burnt leaves on the plants so that they can provide shade to the branches and leaves below them that have not been so exposed to the heat.

So with all those tips in mind, you should be able to keep your garden looking fabulous during the summer. 

Don’t forget to take the time to sit in the evenings and enjoy the benefits of a beautiful garden.