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6 tips to keep your garden in great shape

By Andrew Bell

Gardening can be both a relaxing pastime and a challenge. If you hope to keep your garden thriving all summer long and provide a welcoming aesthetic for your home, following these tips can help.

1. Water correctly

Not watering enough at a time or watering less frequently then required can lead to plants wilting due to heat and thirst. However, watering too much or at the wrong time of day can cause root rot or mildew.

Potted plants can be subject to overheating, particularly in terra cotta pots, but are subject to issues if kept too damp. Consider setting them up on top of sand and keeping the sand well-saturated with water to feed the plants’ thirst. If they dry out too much, set the entire pot down in some water for 30 minutes, then drain the excess water out.

Impatiens and other moisture-loving plants may need a small top-up around noon if they are prone to wilting. Flowering plants like camellias are prone to dropping their petals if they aren’t deeply mulched and watered twice a week once it gets hot.

2. Shade delicate plants

Newly planted seedlings and certain flowering plants require shade to thrive. Direct sun can dry them out and prevent growth. Consider having a dedicated spot to start seedlings in, and cover it with old net curtains or shade cloth to keep them sheltered until they are growing sturdily. If the sun is so hot it browns leaves, set up a system to provide shade in the hottest part of the day.

Other plants need direct sunshine to stay healthy and strong, and are hardy enough to resist browning and drying out. Consider planting indigenous specifics that thrive on minimal water consumption. You can even put sturdy shade-providing plants alongside more delicate foliage, using the former to shade the latter during the worst of the day’s sun.

3. Work smart, not hard

Do your gardening in the early hours of the morning and evening. This keeps you from shocking plants with water in the hottest part of the day (and also reduces your chance of serious sunburn).

Use a water collection and irrigation system to keep plants healthy and reduce the amount of work you have to do. You need to regularly check hoses and nozzles for blockages or leaks, but the amount of water you use can be carefully controlled, eliminating waste. Also, you can use strong mesh to stop frogs and mosquitoes from entering piping or tanks.

4. Cut your lawn high

It can be tempting to put the mower setting to low so you can mow less frequently, but you can kill your lawn buy trimming too close to the grass roots in the summer. To avoid brownouts and stubby, coarse patches on the lawn, set your mower to high-cut and mow more frequently. A higher lawn will be softer underfoot, and weed growth will be mitigated. You’ll also be able to add regular clippings to your compost heap when you mow weekly.

5. Feed your plants

Different garden plants can benefit from different mineral boosts. Magnesium is a great supplement for flowers like gardenias, roses, and cymbidium orchids. Iron chelates can benefit citrus, grevillea, camellia, banksia, or azalea if leaves are stunted or yellowed; expect it to take four weeks before you see the results.

6. Mulch correctly

Adding a layer of mulch around the roots of your plants can help to limit moisture loss from the soil, and suppress weed growth. and saves you the job of weeding. A garden full of indigenous species probably won’t need more than a 50-millimetre layer of mulch, while more exotic gardens can take up to 75 mm. Make sure you’re not blocking irrigation by mulching too deeply.

These tips can make your home even more beautiful on the outside, which can be quite important if you’re planning on selling your home. Contact Ray White Surfers Paradise and we can help.

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