Tips to prepare gardens before going on a holiday
I’m going on a holiday, which means preparing my garden to mostly look after itself while I am away.
In the past few weeks it has been given a dose of seaweed fertiliser to thicken the cell walls to help it cope with the heat and most of the beds still have a decent covering of mulch to reduce water loss.
I’ve got lots of pots and many are not reticulated. All of these have been grouped together and moved to a shady spot in the garden beds so the sprinklers will give them a regular watering.
All the sprinklers have been checked to ensure they are not blocked by plants growing in front of them — this is usually the main cause of plant death in my garden. A few of the sprinklers have been raised with a piece of extender pipe to ensure that their sprays cover all the garden bed.
The blueberries were moved to the shade last month as. While they need sun over winter and spring to flower, the leaves burn and crisp in our hot summers.
While most of the garden has drought-tolerant perennial plants, there are a few water-needy specimens that require a little extra attention as they hate drying out.
In the shade garden my hydrangea, fuchsia, lamium and begonias have been given a spray of Drought Shield. It’s an acrylic polymer that stops water loss by up to 40 per cent, which helps if the weather is hot and dry.
However, to ensure that my garden looks good no matter the weather, or in case of a reticulation breakdown, I’m paying the teenager next door to collect the mail, fill up the fish pond and water any pots that were too big to move to the garden.
He comes with an insurance policy as his mum is a keen gardener and I’ve told her to pop in to pick the vegies and flowers while we’re away.
Homeowner and gardening columnist, Deryn Thorpe in the garden of her Mt Lawley home.