With temperatures set to reach record heights this summer, it’s important to prepare your gardens for the hot, dry conditions to protect both your investment and home value.
For many Aussies a huge amount of time and money is spent in creating and maintaining the alfresco areas, so if you’re set to go on holiday, what precautionary measures can you take to ensure your lawn, trees, flowers and shrubs are still thriving when you return?
Here’s what Angie Thomas, horticulturist at Yates, recommends:
1. If you don’t have a neighbour who can tend to your garden while you’re away you should set up a watering system or soaker hose on a tap timer and mow the lawn before you leave, but not too low as longer grass dries out less and stays greener during summer.
2. It’s important to protect trees and plants by spraying them with a protective polymer spray to reduce water loss from the leaves. Using a soil wetting agent around the root zone in garden beds will help get water where it’s needed by breaking down the waxy water-repellent layer that can develop on soil surfaces.
3. To provide slow release nutrients and limit moisture loss you should spread organic plant food and a 5cm layer of organic mulch on garden beds and around trees
4. Group potted plants together so watering is easy if someone is minding the garden, and move tender plants into a shaded spot where they will benefit from natural rainfall. Saucers should be placed under delicate potted plants, like hydrangeas, to catch excess water which they can draw on during hot days.
5. Ensure your indoor collection doesn’t wilt by gathering them in a well-lit bath or the laundry sink, water them well and place a wet towel under the base of pots to maintain moisture.