February is here and it is known to be one of Australia’s hottest months. If not prepared, hot summer days can be extremely damaging to your plants and lawn. Dehydration causes plants to stress, which can cause their leaves to become wilted.
It is important that your garden is ready to withstand any hot days that may arise throughout this time of the year. Below are some ideas and easy solutions on how you can keep your garden alive during the last month of summer.
After a long summer a serious issue that can highly affect the success of your garden is when your soil becomes hydrophobic. When soil is hydrophobic it repels water rather than absorbing it. The danger of this is wasting litres of water on your garden and your plants not absorbing any of the vital nutrients. Sandy soil is generally more water repellent than other soils.
To minimise the chance of your soil becoming hydrophobic we recommend using a wetting agent. Wetting agents break through the waxy coating on the soil. This allows the water to penetrate into the soil, however wetting agents do not improve the content of your soil. To achieve the best results we recommend improving your soil with an organic matter after applying the wetting agent.
IMPROVING SOIL WITH ORGANIC MATTER
Improving the water holding capacity of soil is a challenging process if you have a lawn, however a garden is slightly easier. Organic matter along with products that contain bentonite clay can be dug into the soil along with animal manures.
For already established lawns we suggest top dressing. Use a top-dressing mix with organic matter, along with a fertiliser that is animal manure based. This process will take time, however every bit helps.
TIME OF DAY TO WATER
We highly recommend watering early in the morning before the sun rises and temperatures increase. Plants and lawns need to be hydrated early morning in order for them to withstand the hot day ahead. Watering your plants early hours of the morning will be in line with your plants growing cycle and will reduce the risk of fungal damage. Fungal damage is caused when your plants do not have enough sunlight to dry and absorb the water.
Plants receive their water from their roots and humidity. To ensure you have a waterwise garden and to make the most of your watering we suggest soaker hoses, dripping hose or dripscape which will give your soil and plants a deep soak. An additional benefit to watering early morning is that there is generally less wind at this time of the day. Less wind means less water evaporation from your soil.
During extra hot summer days plants are at risk of sunburn. Shade cloths can be used to cover your garden beds and pot plants to protect them from harsh direct sunlight. Shade cloths are available in different grades that reduce UV. They are a great solution to get your garden through the summer season.
Sprinklers come in various different shapes, sizes and spray different distances. Majority of our sprinklers are available in either metal or plastic to provide the best option for your garden. Every garden has different watering requirements and our sprinkler range features various spray radius ranging from 3m – 12m.
Sprinklers have large or fine droplets that are made for different applications. Fine droplets are great for watering a small area and large droplets are necessary if you’re in a location that receives strong wind. We have put together the guide below to help you choose the right sprinkler for your garden or lawn.
HOSE END SPRINKLERS
Our hose end sprinklers include a 12mm snap-on adaptor making it super quick and easy to connect your garden hose and start watering. Sprinklers attached to a garden hose make them mobile, you can easily relocate them to another location in your garden.
METAL/PLASTIC SPIKE SPRINKLERS
Sprinkler heads that attach to a spike are great for garden beds and are easy to spike into softer soils and sandy soils. Spike sprinklers are ideal for watering uneven surfaces.
SPRINKLER HEADS THAT ATTACH TO POLY RISER
Having your sprinklers on poly risers is a great way to have permanent sprinklers in your garden bed. Attached to poly pipe you can have automatic irrigation with either a tap timer or soleniod controller.
ALTERNATIVE WATERING OPTIONS
In addition to sprinklers you may want to use a form of dripping hose to water your garden beds. Dripping hoses are great at getting water directly to the plant roots. Consider the options below for garden bed irrigation.