By Greta Wickham
We have now come to the end of the year and although The Galston District Garden Club has had to postpone many meetings this year the club is intending to resume meeting on the 2nd Wednesday in February 2022.
Where: Galston Community Centre, 37 Arcadia Rd, Galston. The meeting will start at 7.30pm. The Club welcomes visitors and new members so why not come along and meet our friendly members.
SOME SUMMER GARDENING TIPS:
• As summer is upon us, it is not too late to mulch. Mulch helps protect your soil from heating up and drying out and will reduce the amount of summer irrigation required and can improve the overall appearance of your garden. If you choose an organic mulch it will slowly add nutrients to your soil as it breaks down, thus feeding your plants as well.
• If you are going away over summer, consider using a low environmental impact wetting agent on your garden, particularly your pot plants as they can dry out within a day.
Installing automatic irrigation systems is another method to protect your garden from drying out. If you choose the right system and mulch, the garden should continue to thrive even if you are away taking some much needed time off.
• Make sure you keep a close eye on your plants over summer. “Indicator plants” that are the first to droop due to insufficient soil moisture can be used as a sure sign the garden requires additional irrigation.
Hydrangeas are good indicator plants because they are some of the first plants to droop but recover well with watering. If you notice plants struggling, possibly add more mulch, increase irrigation or even add some temporary shade structures to help younger/ smaller plants through the heat of summer.
• Avoid strong chemical fertilisers that encourage lots of soft leaf growth. You do not want this on extreme heat days as the plants will stress more trying to cope.
Instead, use a fertiliser that encourages root growth, like GOGO Juice. Adding this to your plants in the cool of the morning will aid the plants’ resistance to disease and heat stress throughout summer.
• When you are moving this summer, raise the height of your blades a bit to leave the grass a tad longer. This will keep the roots from being fried and better protect your soil. Give your grass a good deeper soaking, say once a week, rather than frequent quick surface soaks.
• It is worth considering deadheading/tip pruning your small shrubs and herbaceous perennials once they are finished flowering. Doing this prevents the plant from using the energy required to produce seed, and this energy will most likely be used to produce more flowers. Deadheading also helps the plant look tidier overall.
• Tip pruning can also be carried out in early summer on shrubs, including natives, that have finished flowering in late spring or early summer.
Tip pruning helps keep the plant more compact and encourages vigour and new growth. Just be careful not to prune too hard in summer on some shrubs because the shock and heat stress that may occur can damage the tender and soft new growth.
• Approximately two-in-three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70 which means it is vital you Slip Slop Slap Seek Slide when out in the garden this summer.