The areas of the country that have been affected by fire in the last 2 months are unprecedented. It affects all Australians as many of us live with the threat of fire in our local area. In some cases where the house has been saved, it’s the gardens that have suffered damage.

It’s not until a catastrophe such as a fire that we realise how many memories are tied up in the garden. A favourite tree, a Christmas gift, a cutting from Mums garden – the memories keep coming. As gardeners, our thoughts are with those who are coming to terms with the loss of their garden.

It is surprising what will survive a fire event, it depends on the temperature of the fire and the speed it has gone through as to what damage is done. New shoots will appear very quickly on those plants that are able to regenerate.

Tips to garden recovery from a fire:

  • In a very hot fire, the soil is almost sterilised from the extreme heat. The soil will also be very dry. The addition of a wetting agent is crucial to get moisture back in the soil and ensure it stays in the soil. Seasol super soil wetter will get water to soak into the soil and add much-needed soil conditioning properties.
  • Once a plant starts to shoot, trim off the burnt remaining sticks and branches.
  • Assess plants sometimes the damage is too far gone and even though plants try to recover, it may not be best in the long term.
  • Potted plants will require repotting and depending upon the variety will either recover or need to be replaced.

In the coming months, it’s a good time to assess the design of the garden and implement changes that would benefit plants or buildings in the case of another fire event. Large areas of gravel between beds, groundcovers with high moisture content such as pigface and low flammable plants are all strategies that may minimise damage.

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