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.
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.