January and February are typically the hottest months of the year and this heat can be seriously draining on your garden. Not to mention high moisture levels from rain, disease and insect outbreaks are common this time of year. Oh the joys of gardening!
Here are a few tips to keep your garden looking robust and vigorous through to the end of summer.
1, Ensure your garden has sufficient air circulation.
Cut back over grown plants to allow them to compact again and increase air circulation between plants. This task is a great de-stressor after a long day at work!
Roses have had a great summer until now. To prolong their ‘showing off’ period, semi-prune (prune lightly) them back into shape. They will be most rewarding during the last leg of summer.
Apply compost to areas that are sandy and not holding water very well. Compost improves soil texture and increases water retention.
Where the soil has become clayish, apply compost. Compacted soils get very hard making it difficult for plants to grow. For extreme clay areas, mix 2 thirds compost with 1 third playpen sand to improve the compacted soil faster. Dig this mix in well.
Basically compost, compost, compost… always.
4.Mulch your garden
Due to the national drought, this important horticultural practice has become a mainstream gardening requirement. This protective layer, be it an organic or inorganic mulch, helps plants during the harshest heat conditions. Mulch:
- Protects the soil from soil erosion.
- Minimises weed growth.
- Maintains soil temperatures during hot (and cold) conditions.
- Retains soil moisture.
- Protects root systems.
- Keeps the soil active and alive ensuring a healthy soil.
5.Feed your garden in a sustainable way
This ideally means feeding your garden with organic fertilisers which replenishes nutrients, repairing the soil while feeding plants, and does not require a lot of water.
6.Manage pest infestations
While doing all these gardening activities, if you have found any pest infestations treat them accordingly with organic methods as far as possible.
If you’re not sure of an infestation or the right product to use, whatsapp a pic to the GardenGuru (072 200 5762) or visit your local GardenShop for the best advice.