Don’t Let Your Garden Cook!

Don’t Let Your Garden Cook!

Sure-fire ways to keep your garden investment alive over the holidays

Yates is warning home-owners to prepare their gardens to survive hot, dry conditions over the holidays to protect their investment and home value.

Temperatures are set to reach record heights this summer, with many areas of Australia seeing the mercury soar above 40 degrees Celsius for consecutive days and a strong likelihood of dry lightning storms.

Angie Thomas, horticulturist at Yates, says for many Aussies this will be concerning, as a huge amount of time and money is spent in creating and maintaining their alfresco paradise. Some experts claim a well-kept garden can add 10 per cent to the value of a home.

She advises home-owners going on holiday take precautionary measures to ensure their lawns, trees, flowers and shrubs are still thriving when they return.

“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.

“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.

“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,” she says.

Angie also recommends homeowners, “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.

“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,” she says.

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