PREPARE GARDENS FOR MORE HEAT
One of the greatest challenges for Australian gardeners is getting the garden through the long, hot summer. Mulch helps the soil stay cool and hold moisture, so check this and renew if needed. Water well before spreading mulch and don’t let it come into direct contact with the plants. Pebble mulch is a good choice in bushfire-prone gardens. Move heat-sensitive potted plants into more shade. Check hoses, taps and watering systems to ensure they are all working well. Train plants in good habits by deep watering rather than watering in short bursts as that only encourages roots to stay near the surface. Continue removing dead flowers but, as the weather heats up, avoid any unnecessary pruning that might promote sun-tender young growth. Erect a frame around the vegies onto which you can throw a protective cloth on super-hot days. Spray soft-leafed ornamentals with anti-transpirant, which reduces water loss and acts as a sunscreen. Apply a soil wetter around new plants.