Take a look at your summer garden in the cool of the day!

Don’t give up on the garden throughout the hottest month of the year. Sneak a few minutes in the morning or evening to check the irrigation system, top up the mulch or add wetting agent to pots to ensure the garden is surviving. If there are a few burnt leaves due to heatwave conditions resist the urge to prune them off. Whilst they don’t look the best, burnt foliage serves as protection for any new growth from the scorching sun. Ensure the bird baths are topped up with fresh water and additional shallow containers or saucers are placed at ground level for ground dwelling critters.


For many of us the thought of cultivating spiders in the garden sends a shiver down the spine. In reality not many of the common species are deadly, in fact they are one of the most beneficial creatures to have around the garden.

Spiders play an important role in the environment and usually work hard at night trapping the pest insects that destroy our gardens. These hard-working allies will retreat in the morning leaving only a single strand of web, resting in a sheltered position throughout the day only to appear again when darkness falls to get to work again.

It is estimated that the weight of insects eaten annually by spiders outweighs the weight of the entire human population. Many of these insects are garden pests. Avoid reaching for the spider spray and instead turn a blind eye to the cobwebs.

The common Garden Spider, known as the Garden orb weaver, are famous for their wheel shaped web. When there are many Garden orbs around it’s an indicator there are many insects breeding in the garden. Nurture these spiders and your pest control will be completed for you, in the middle of the night, without you having to even lift an eyelid.

Turf Tips

The urban heat island effect occurs when hard surfaces such as paving, roads, concrete paths and bricks absorb and retain heat. It has been well documented that many urban areas in Australia are experiencing an urban heat island effect and temperatures are considerably higher than surrounding rural areas.

Reducing hard surfaces and planting more trees helps alleviate the effect of heat, keep the canopy cover and value large trees in urban landscapes is a directive from many local government areas.

The value of quality turf areas to contribute to countering the warming effects of hard surfaces can’t be underestimated. When its warm the places we congregate to are the soft cool grass and the shade of the trees.

Top tips to keeping turf looking great throughout February

  • Apply Seasol for Lush Green Lawns, it contains a soil wetter, plus liquid compost, nutrients and Seasol. It will help stimulate root development, feed the soil and lawn. Healthy soil equals healthy plants and reduces the effects of heat and drought stress on the lawn.
  • Mow regularly and avoid allowing the lawn to get too long before putting the mower over it again.
  • Be aware of how much water is being applied to the lawn and check the irrigation system regularly throughout this month.
  • Check for water penetration by digging a square of lawn out to the depth of a shovel after the irrigation system has been on. If it’s not damp at the root zone, check the irrigation system and ensure the soil isn’t water repellent. If the soil is repelling water, it could be hydrophobic, apply a soil wetter such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner to help overcome this. It’s a wetting agent, soil conditioner and plant health treatment all in one, that gets water to the lawn’s root system.
  • Avoid applying high nitrogen fertilisers to turf as it may burn leaf foliage, especially on days of high heat.  Excessive nitrogen results in water thirsty turf, low disease tolerance and increased mowing.

Handy Hint Seasol's Guide to Understanding Lawn Fertilisers

Water Chestnuts

Water chestnuts are easy to grow in any container that holds water, place a pot or two in an existing pond and reap the rewards of a crunchy edible corm, harvested in autumn. The larger the growing area for the plants, the more corms that are produced. Available for sale at garden centres where water plants are sold these reed-like plants not only create a habitat for frogs they are super tasty when harvested fresh. They will maintain a sweet delicate coconut flavour with a crunchy apple texture.

Place in medium sized pots and submerge in water, a bog garden situation is ideal or a bowl water garden will produce the most corms if growing in a sunny position.

Corms are produced underground and require approximately, 210-220 warm frost-free days to produce corms of a decent size. As the weather cools down the plants will die back.

Harvest about 4 weeks after the plant has died back as this will allow the best flavour to develop. Small corms can be replanted immediately and will remain dormant until the weather warms up again in spring. As shoots appear return to the water garden position again.