Sum­mer pro­tec­tion

Joondalup Times - - GARDENING -

WHILE the glo­ri­ous sum­mer sun brings on the bloom and the bear­ing of fruit, it can also wreak havoc on our plants.

Gar­den­ing tool com­pany Cy­clone shares five top tips for get­ting a healthy gar­den dur­ing our hottest months.

1. Mulch

A fresh layer of mulch helps con­serve mois­ture and sup­press weeds.

Mulch can re­duce evap­o­ra­tion from the soil sur­face by as much as 70 per­cent when ap­plied cor­rectly.

First, give the area a good weed and soak, then spread a 5cm layer of mulch evenly over the soil.

Or­ganic mulches such as straw and bark break down over time, help­ing nour­ish and im­prove soil.

Avoid plac­ing them too close to the stems of plants to pre­vent rot­ting.

2. Fruit­ful plan­ning

De­cid­u­ous trees that bear sum­mer fruit ben­e­fit from a good prune as soon as the crop is har­vested.

Plants such as peaches and nec­tarines that bear new wood this sea­son are good can­di­dates for a sum­mer prune.

Start by re­mov­ing dead, dam­aged or dis­eased limbs and then tackle any struc­tural flaws such as cross­ing or rub­bing limbs and branches that grow in­wards.

Fi­nally, cut back one third to one-half of all growth made since spring.

3. Pro­long peren­nial colour

Prune faded and dead flow­ers. The ac­tion of dead­head­ing keeps plants look­ing tidy and pro­longs the flow­er­ing of some peren­ni­als.

4. Ruf­fle up the roses

Most think rose prun­ing is a win­ter job, but if you want to get the best out of re­peat flow­er­ing va­ri­eties, then sum­mer prun­ing is a must-do.

After each flush of flow­ers, sim­ply prune off a third of the growth in a rounded shape us­ing hedge shears. You’ll be re­warded with an­other flour­ish of blooms six to eight weeks later.

5. Im­prove your soil

Adding com­post to your gar­den bed helps nour­ish and en­rich the soil by en­cour­ag­ing healthy mi­cro­bial ac­tiv­ity, as well as im­prove its struc­ture, drainage and mois­ture help­ing abil­ity.

Add a good bal­ance of green mat­ter like veg­etable peel­ings and lawn clip­pings, and brown mat­ter like dry leaves, shred­ded news­pa­per and straw to the com­post mix.

For the best qual­ity com­post, turn your heap ev­ery three to four days.

Keep your gar­den healthy in sum­mer.

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