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If you have limited time there are a few things you can achieve over the next few weeks that will benefit the garden.

  • Protect trunks of plants such as Magnolias, Mangoes and Avocados from sun damage by wrapping light medium grade shade cloth loosely around the exposed area. Sun damage to this part of the tree severely affects its growth rate and fruiting or flowering capacity.
  • Splitting Elkhorn fern is easy with a sharp serrated edged knife. Select the shield to remove and cut a piece out with at least 60mm thickness. Place dampened sphagnum moss on a marine ply board and lay Elkhorn shield on the moss. Tie tightly with plastic coated wire or nylon stocking. Place the board in a protected position, preferable a shade house or patio environment and keep damp. Shield fronds will grow over the wire or stocking quickly covering the board.
  • Mulching large pots with stones is an effective way of reducing moisture loss through evaporation in hot weather. Even though the top of the stones feel hot, underneath at soil level it will feel cool. Stones are also a good choice for plants that are susceptible to collar rot problems because they don’t hold water around the trunk when compared to organic mulches.
  • When planting in summer avoid teasing roots out because any root damage to the plant will cause stress. This is different to planting in winter when a gentle teasing of roots will encourage them to head in an outwards direction.

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