The rain has stopped!!!
We might have all forgotten how to water our garden and outdoor potted plants. The days are getting hotter and windier. These conditions could be disaster for your outdoor plants.
Have we all forgotten how to water? For the past 2 years (seems like longer) we have had fairly mild summers and the rain has done most of the work for us. Yes, we get a short burst of warm days but there has always been some rain just around the corner. So here are some tips for keeping your established and newly planted areas looking their best over summer.
The hottest part of the day is usually around 2pm. Emergency watering might be required around this time but it is also the time when water will evaporate more quickly.
New Garden Areas
Start with the soil. If you don’t have rich organic soil then any water you apply will simply run off or drain straight through. So COMPOST. Enrich your garden beds with bags of composted organic matter. Our Greenlife/ANL Cow & Compost is amazing. If you have your own compost on the go turn good amounts into your soil. Sometimes it is best to do this a few days before planting.
Make sure your soil areas are not dry before planting and always use Seasol as a plant tonic to help the plants adjust to their new environment.
Give any newly planted areas a thorough watering at the time of planting. Most plants at a nursery are watered every day sometimes twice a day. This is because they are in a pot and have contained root structures.
It is very important to be watering daily for a week, then every other day for a week, then every 2 to 3 days over the next few weeks, then once a week.
Eventually allow your plants to dry out slightly between watering to toughen roots and encourage them to seek out water to make them more self-sufficient.
Deeper watering encourages deeper roots while shallow watering causes weak, shallow roots that dry out quickly. Even after established, most plants look better with an occasional deep summer watering.
Mulching your garden will prevent moister loss.
Regardless of your type of pot always use the best quality potting mix you can afford. If you use a lower grade soil to fill the bulk of a pot always use a bag of premium potting mix around the root area of the plant. Our Eclipse Premium Soil is perfect for this.
Remember pots can heat up and retain the heat over a period of time so watering your pots on hot sunny days is a must. If your pot has drainage holes and the water can move through the pot make sure you have a regular watering routine, morning is usually the best as the plants can utilise the water from the soil over the day.
Always check your potted plants in the afternoon just in case they need another drink after a long hot day.
Established Garden Areas
Re mulch! Once a garden area is established the plants should be stronger because they have more extensive root systems. They might only require a good soaking a couple of times per week for the first couple of hot spells. Soil wetting agents can be applied to assist with water retention and a good covering of mulch will keep your soil cooler.
Existing Potted Plants
Almost all potted plants will need watering on the extreme hot days. During hot sunny days some exceptions might be cacti & succulents. These can last with a thorough watering less often.