Like us, plants feel the heat. Following our 7 steps to help your garden flourish through the summer heat with tips and advice to help it bloom no matter what the weather conditions are.

Summer is forecast to be long and hot due to the effects of an El Niño weather pattern, which often brings drier weather and heatwaves to much of Australia. El Niño conditions also increase the likelihood of bushfires and drought

Like us, plants feel the heat. Following our 7 steps to help your garden flourish through summer heat with tips and advice to help it bloom no matter what the weather conditions are.
Like us, plants feel the heat. Following our 7 steps to help your garden flourish through summer heat with tips and advice to help it bloom no matter what the weather conditions are.

Step 1 – Summer gardening

Keep gardening maintenance to a minimum as heat affects plants too. Any additional stresses, such as pruning, mowing or transplanting, especially in the heat of the day, may cause plant damage.

If garden maintenance is required, perform it in the cool of the day, such as early morning, to keep you and your plants cool.

When going outside into the garden, remember to take the sunblock, hat, sunnies, water and the Seasol! Regular applications of Seasol help to strengthen plants so they can cope with the stress of heat and dry winds.

Keep gardening tasks short and don’t get side tracked into performing other garden tasks. Have a cool drink on hand to keep yourself hydrated, and write down tasks for future gardening projects.

Step 2 – Summer lawn care

The lawn is a busy place in summer with outdoor entertaining and kids’ games (not to mention the annual backyard cricket challenge). As well as foot traffic, the combination of summer’s heat, dryness and water restrictions, combine to mean it’s a challenging time for lawns. A few simple tips can help them stay greener longer.

  • Mowing Mow so the lawn is left longer after each mow. Adjust the mower blades to leave a longer leaf blade that shades the soil and roots as well as allows the lawn to keep growing.
  • Watering Applying a good soak of water less often helps to encourage roots to go down into the soil for water and nutrients and leads to a stronger, more drought-resistant lawn. Use an irrigation system or sprinkler rather than a hose for even distribution, setting the timer to give the grass a good deep watering.
  • Feeding Feed your lawn with a liquid fertiliser such as Seasol for Lush Green Lawns every month, applying the fertiliser in the cool of the day. A well-fed, healthy, lush, thick lawn copes better with heat stress and one that’s not growing as well. Do not apply fertiliser in the heat of the day, as it can burn the foliage.
  • Revitalising If your lawn is looking a bit yellow, it could be lacking nutrients such as iron. Applying Seasol Organic Iron for Deep Green Lawn helps to add organic iron and Seasol to help strengthen, revitalise and green your lawn.
Like us, plants feel the heat. Following our 7 steps to help your garden flourish through summer heat with tips and advice to help it bloom no matter what the weather conditions are.

Step 3 – Improve soil health

The soil is the backbone of the garden, so having healthy soil that can hold moisture is the key to a healthy, vibrant garden. Good quality soil can help prevent water runoff, and increase its water-holding ability, preventing plants from drying out.

If you didn’t have a chance to work on your soil over spring, it’s not too late to help your soil’s health. Add homemade compost and organic matter and/or Seasol Super Compost to the soil surface in the cool of the day. If you have already applied mulch, use the no-dig option of Seasol Liquid Compost.

If you haven’t applied mulch, it’s one of your soil’s best friends, as it helps deter weeds and keeps the soil and plant roots cool. Apply an organic mulch such as lucerne, sugarcane mulch or pea straw to the soil and around the plants (don’t apply too close to the main stem or trunk) which will also improve your soil over time.

Step 4 – Water, Water, Water the garden

Problems in the garden can often be traced back to a lack of water. When watering, check that it is going down into the soil. If it’s running off or pooling on top, it could be repelling water (hydrophobic soil). Applying a soil wetter such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner will help to overcome this.

Applying water via an irrigation system or sprinkler for longer periods, less often, ensures regular deep watering. Water in the cool of the day, early morning is ideal as plants have time to use it, and it helps to reduce fungal diseases such as powdery mildew.

When watering, check to ensure all equipment is working correctly, as a broken sprinkler head or a hole in the hose means water wastage and a lack of plant moisture. Before watering, also check the temperature of the water, as hot pipes and hoses can lead to burnt foliage.

Like us, plants feel the heat. Following our 7 steps to help your garden flourish through summer heat with tips and advice to help it bloom no matter what the weather conditions are.

Step 5 – Understand your garden and what it needs

Understanding your garden and its microclimates will help you gauge how much attention each section of the garden needs on hot days. Check out which areas get the most sun as it changes throughout the day. Those in the shade may need less attention than those in the sun, especially those in front of a brick wall or steel fence.

Mediterranean and drought-tolerant plants such as lavender, olives, rosemary and most natives will cope better with the heat and need less attention, watering once or twice a week. Whereas plants with large green leaves such as hydrangeas need more attention, requiring water each day and coverage from the sun.

If the plant’s foliage does get burnt or damaged, don’t prune it until the cool of autumn. Pruning in the heat of summer will make the plant look good for a while, but it may stress it out and burn the young new foliage underneath.

Step 6 – Improve plant health

Plants need more than just water to survive a long hot summer, they also need to be fed to remain strong and healthy. Like us, they like lighter food in summer – a salad in human terms.

A liquid fertiliser such as PowerFeed All Purpose including Natives is ideal in summer. Mix the concentrate (50mL) with 9 litres of water into a watering can or use the hose-on container. Never apply in the heat of the day or to the foliage as it may burn. For specific plant varieties, also check out the PowerFeed PRO SERIES range.

When feeding plants check for pests and diseases that can weaken and make them more susceptible to summer heat. Check for aphids and blackspot on roses, caterpillars eating tasty young foliage or scale, and sooty mould affecting citrus and other plants. Remove pests by hand (wear gloves), spray with a hose or control with an organic pesticide such as EarthCare Enviro Pest Oil insect spray. Remember to spray both sides of the foliage in the cool of the day.

When checking on plants it’s a great time to pick flowers or harvest produce and remove spelt flowers. This prevents disease from overripe fruit and gives the plant more energy to produce more.

Like us, plants feel the heat. Following our 7 steps to help your garden flourish through summer heat with tips and advice to help it bloom no matter what the weather conditions are.
Like us, plants feel the heat. Following our 7 steps to help your garden flourish through summer heat with tips and advice to help it bloom no matter what the weather conditions are.

Step 7 – Taking care of pot plants

Plants in pots have slightly different needs and conditions from those in the soil, as they can’t go down into the soil looking for water and nutrients.

Pots dry out quicker and require watering daily or sometimes twice a day, depending on the temperature. Early morning and late at night are ideal. Before watering, check that the pot needs it (put your finger deep into the soil). Overwatering has its own problems, such as root rot.

When watering, check the plant’s conditions. Remove weeds and top up with mulch to keep the soil cool. On an extremely hot day, move pots to a cooler area of the garden such as under a tree or verandah. If it’s hard to find a spot, consider moving it inside for the day until it cools down and put a saucer of water to help keep it cool.

Pot colour can also affect plants in pots, as a black plastic pot will attract more heat than a light pot colour. Consider, putting black plastic pots into a cover pot of a lighter colour to keep it cool.

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