The most important tip in December is to make sure your garden stays well hydrated over this hotter period. Be sure to add or top up mulch and apply a soil wetter to your entire garden and pots.
Keeping your garden healthy and waterwise
Bare soil is an invitation for weeds to grow. Mulch, mulch and more mulch, don’t leave a square centimetre exposed. This will also protect fine delicate roots from extremely hot temperatures. Mulch will help retain moisture in the soil and hence decrease the amount of watering required.
Re-apply Ezi-Wet Water Saving Soil Wetter to the whole garden if you are finding the water beading and running off the soil surface.
Roses and Flowering Plants
Keep watering roses with deep soaking and apply a soil wetter if the soil appears dry and water repellent. Feed roses and flowers with a light dressing of fertiliser. A complete fertiliser is good, but a specialised one like Richgro’s Black Marvel Premium Rose Food will give them the boost they require.
Inspect plants carefully for insects such as two spotted mite thriving in the hot dry weather. Apply some Richgro Lime Sulfur if plants under threat.
December can be a flowering month for many plants and once they they have finished flowering, dead head or trim them to encourage new growth. Do this in the afternoon to allow the plant to adjust to their new shape before the full sun hits.
Fruit and Vegetables
Feed all established fruit trees including citrus as well as existing vegies. For you fruits a good specialised fertiliser like Richgro Black Marvel Premium Fruit & Citrus Food will have amazing results.
Protect edible crops from high temperatures. Top up mulch on your veggie patches and herb gardens especially if you are heading off for holidays. Choose a sustainable, low environmental impact natural mulch such as Richgro Natural Pinebark or Hard Wood Mulch.
Vegetable gardens will need a little more water (at least once a day) as the temperatures reach consistently over 32+ Celsius. Water in the morning or in the evening.
Carry on planting. It’s getting pretty warm but there are a few things you could still add into the patch. You can put in some sweetcorn, capsicum, chilli, beetroot, eggplant, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini and cucumber.
Lawn and Turf Maintenance
Lift mower blades when mowing the lawn. A longer blade of grass creates a larger shadow and shades the lawns root system reducing evaporation and the temperature of the soil.
Top dress to level out any holes and dips. Apply a soil wetter to improve watering in hotter weather.
If Black beetles come up from holes in lawns, treat with Lawn Beetle and Grub Killa.
Protect your pot plants while you are away this summer. A small amount of Richgro Water Storage Crystals applied to each pot will help keep your plants watered and fed for up to 3 weeks so you can enjoy your well deserved break.
Mulch the top of the pots. If you notice that soils are very dry and the water sits on top rather than drain into the soil, apply Ezi-Wet soil wetter – it helps the water in.
General Garden Maintenance Tips
- Top up mulch and apply a soil wetter to your entire garden and pots.
- If going away on holiday bunch all plants in pots together, they won’t dry out as quickly and it makes it easier if you have a neighbour or friend watering for you.
- When watering choosing the right time of the day can make all the difference – best to water in the cooler morning, avoid watering at night as this can encourage fungus diseases especially in lawns
- Give the dog somewhere cool to lie. A pile of damp sawdust is great, just hose down every night or morning and as they dig it so it is cool for them to lie in. It will save your garden.