SUMMER GARDENING TIPS

Now summer is here and the temperature is rising high. We have to make sure our gardens and plants are well protected. Here are some great tips to get you started:

KEEP YOUR POTS COOL

Potted plants, especially those in terracotta pots, are vulnerable to overheating. Lightly mulch and, where possible, position them out of hot western sunshine. Remember that standing potted plants in saucers of water encourages root rot and mosquito breeding. Instead, stand them in saucers filled with sand, and keep the sand moist. This ensures roots stay cool and plants remain healthy. If potted plants dry out to the point where re-wetting is hard, soak them in a bucket of water for half an hour, then drain.

WATER EARLY TO AVERT MILDEW

Water in the cool of the day. The best time is morning but, if you water in the afternoon, allow enough time for foliage to dry out before sunset. This reduces the risk of mildew and other fungi attacking leaves, and there’s less chance you’ll get caught by the evening shift of mosquitoes or sandflies. Mildew frequently attacks roses, pumpkin, melon, zucchini and cucumber. Spray plants weekly with a solution made from one part cow’s milk to 10 parts water. Repeat after heavy rain or irrigation. This remedy won’t reverse mildew damage, but it’s an effective preventative.

WORK DURING COOLER TEMPERATURES (Very Important!!!!)

Make sure to stay hydrated!!! It’s safer, and you’re more likely to do a better job, if you complete energetic work such as mowing in the cool of the day – either before 10am or after 4pm. A good drink of water and a smear of sunblock are prerequisites, because that one five-minute job often leads to another, and another. Sunblock takes 15 minutes to create its protective layer, so use that time to plan your day in the garden. Don’t forget your hat (or umbrella) and sunnies too, and if you do get burned, nothing beats the cooling, healing effect of fresh, home-grown juice of aloe vera. In my Brisbane garden, a tea tree oil-based mosquito repellent is also essential. Save some light tasks, such as weeding or propagating, to complete in the comfort of a shady spot.

Hope these tips are helpful!!! More gardening tips to come!!!????

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