Weath­er­ing a dry gar­den

Don’t let your win­ter gar­den dry out in the drought, writes Robyn Wil­lis

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - GARDEN - More yates.com.au

It’s not only farm­ing ar­eas that are look­ing a lit­tle dry right now. The dry and warm weather ex­pe­ri­enced across the state is tak­ing its toll on home gar­dens.

While the stakes may not be as high as they are for our strug­gling farmers, look­ing af­ter your gar­den right now could pay off over the next year or two.

Hor­ti­cul­ture con­sul­tant to Yates Angie Thomas says the dry con­di­tions are ex­pected to last an­other six to nine months so now is the time to pre­pare your gar­den.

Angie says to use a hand­held hose or a sprin­kler but take your time to go in deep.

“Do it once or twice a week but give it a re­ally good soak so that you pen­e­trate that top 2cm of soil,” she says.

Deep wa­ter­ing will hy­drate the plant and en­cour­age it to send roots deeper, which will re­duce ex­po­sure to the heat.

Wa­ter­ing the lawn will also give your grass a fight­ing chance against the weeds.

Angie says it doesn’t mat­ter if it’s home­made com­post or a store-bought prod­uct, any or­ganic mat­ter will be good for your gar­den right now.

“Add as much or­ganic mat­ter to the soil as pos­si­ble, even though it’s dry,” she says.

“It acts like a mois­ture sponge so that when you wa­ter or it rains, the soil will be bet­ter able to hold on to it.”

Use what­ever or­ganic ma­te­rial you have handy from lucerne hay and sugar cane mulch and ap­ply in a thick layer to the gar­den.

“It will pro­tect the soil and your plants from the bak­ing sun and wind,” Angie says.

They have a ten­dency to dry out quickly any­way but Angie says they need even more at­ten­tion in these tough con­di­tions.

“Don’t be lulled into a false sense of se­cu­rity that they don’t need so much wa­ter be­cause it’s win­ter,” she says.

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