Look af­ter your plants dur­ing our glo­ri­ous hot sum­mer

Pilbara News - - Property - Sab­rina Hahn

I ab­so­lutely love sum­mer. I love the heat haze, the smell of eu­ca­lyp­tus in the air, the way leaves hang down­ward to avoid the sun, the sound of ci­cadas and crick­ets, cricket on the ra­dio and the salty smell of the ocean when the Fre­man­tle Doc­tor ar­rives.

Sum­mer­time is all about early morn­ings and late af­ter­noons.

You will be amazed how many birds you will hear at dawn and what flow­ers open up to greet the sun.

Hot days re­mind us how im­por­tant green spa­ces are around cities and towns.

They are the air-con­di­tion­ers of the en­vi­ron­ment and the lungs of cities. It’s all about blue skies for weeks on end and the re­silience of na­tive plants to bear the brunt of 42C days. Rather than dread it, we need to learn to em­brace it.

Chang­ing your at­ti­tude can make all the dif­fer­ence — not only in loving where you live but also in mak­ing the most of your gar­den.

With a few handy tips, you will be able to help your gar­dens sur­vive and thrive. We wear hats and sun­screen when out­doors and there’s no rea­son why we can’t do like­wise for plants.

Plants that get eas­ily sun­burnt can have shade cloth or an um­brella put over them and DroughtShield sprayed on leaves and stems. One ap­pli­ca­tion will be enough to see them through sum­mer. Never prune in sum­mer — you will ex­pose fo­liage, stems and branches to direct sun and cook your plants.

The only ex­cep­tion to this rule is when plants are dam­aged in sum­mer storms and have limbs and branches ripped off.

Al­ways make a clean cut with sharp prun­ing equip­ment and keep the plant dis­ease-free.

The vegie patch will also feel the heat once tem­per­a­tures reach above 38C and they will ben­e­fit from a shade-cloth over the top.

You could keep it on from the be­gin­ning of De­cem­ber through to March.

We have been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing warmer au­tumn weather and last year March was hot.

Veg­eta­bles may also need an ex­tra day­time wa­ter­ing if tem­per­a­tures are above 40C.

The plants that have se­vere wilt­ing may not re­cover.

Cap­sicums, straw­ber­ries, egg­plant and squash may get sun­burn patches that will ruin the fruit. It will do them no harm to give them a quick spray in the mid­dle of the day.

Pic­ture: Si­mon Santi

Sab­rina Hahn at City Farm, East Perth.

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