You might be going on holiday but your plants have to survive the hottest and driest time of the year.
Gardening expert Reg Kidd has some top tips on how to care for your plants through December and January.
INDOOR AND POTTED PLANTS
- Keep them out of direct sunlight
- Place them in a tub or look at self-watering containers or the watering spikes that can be fitted onto most bottles. These will provide a drip irrigation system
- Look at wicking systems
- "Just google" as there are many innovative 'wick' systems that can be easily set up to provide moisture to plants while you are away.
OUTDOOR SHRUBS AND TREES
- While it may seem unsightly install basic watering
- Plastic drums (a few litres or up to 20 litres in size) filled with water with a few holes punched to allow water to slowly drip into the root zone on the plant are very useful.
- In Cook Park the council is using 1000-litre 'shuttle containers' to help big mature trees
- A simple siphoning system can be used
- Place a bucket of water on a chair or something so it is higher than the plant
- Use a strip of absorbent material to connect the bucket to the soil area near the trunk of the plant
- A short length of rope or a twisted piece of cotton material well-wetted, possibly sheathed in a plastic bag, will slowly transfer the water from the bucket to the plant
- This should last three weeks for a standard-sized bucket
- Make sure the 'wick' is weighted down at the bottom of the bucket and the other end is slightly buried in the soil
HELP YOUR PLANTS
- Achieve stronger rose plants (and have more flowers) by using a seaweed solution about every three weeks
- When watering, deep-soak roses with about 20 litres of water per rose weekly. Remember roses are drought-tolerant plants
- Understand the role of humified carbon (known as humus) in enhancing soil biology for true soil fertility
- To achieve this, incorporate mature composted materials to the soil. While it does have some nutrient content its chief role is to build soil carbon levels and feed the biology that is the real driver of plant success
- Watering in the morning and at the base of the plant reduces the risk of fungal diseases
- Whitefly is a nuisance on tomato plants. Try pyrethrum or Natrasoap applied under the leaves
- Spray Yates Droughtshield over tender plants to protect them from sunburn and heatwaves.
- Add shade and mulch to protect plants from the heat and stress. Shading can drop air temperature by 15-20 degrees and soil temperature by 10-15 degrees.
- READ MORE Level 5 water restrictions mean only one hour a week garden watering | Video
- READ MORE FACES OF ORANGE | Dr Steve Peterson rebounds after life-changing event
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