Now is the time to help your garden get through the hotter months and to ensure your plants stay well hydrated. January can almost get too hot to be planting much but by the end of the month, you can plant tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber, zucchini and chillies. You can also plant tropical fruiting plants for them to establish before the cold weather sets in.
Keep the soil cool
As soil dries out quickly in the hot weather especially in raised planter boxes and pots, be sure to add mulch such as Richgro Natural Hard Wood Mulch to help retain moisture and it will protect the delicate roots from extremely hot temperatures by working as an insulator for the soil. The ideal depth for this mulch is 25mm-50mm as this allows water to penetrate yet still offers protection from evaporation.
Harvest fruit and vegetables
The fruit and vegetables that need to be harvested in January are shallot, onion, radish, eggplant, sweetcorn, peas, melons and watermelons. To avoid picking watermelons prematurely, check if the underside of the watermelon’s skin is light or has turned creamy yellow. This indicates that it’s ripe and the fruit will sound hollow.
Water your plants early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid fungal issues and it’s much more effective to use more water a couple times a week rather than a little every day. While new plants will require regular watering to allow the roots to establish, you can use Richgro Ezi Wet Soil Wetter to encourage deeper root growth. It also assists with water penetration and reduces water runoff.
Protect your plants
Protect your pot plants while you are away this summer. Run dripper lines to your plants from your main irrigation pipes. For your veggie patch, mulch up to a depth of about 70mm after watering the patch. You can also construct a couple of shade cloth tents that you can pop over sun sensitive plants to protect them.
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