Sun safety for your plants

Summer-garden

Sun safety for soft foliage

Flowering shrubs are beautiful at this time of year but not all of them do well in extreme heat. Angie says shrubs such as hydrangeas with tender flowers and leafy salad vegetables such as lettuce and rocket can burn on very hot days, but there are steps you can take to minimise the damage.

“Some people will put up beach umbrellas to protect their plants from the sun on hot days, even when they are well watered, just because the intensity of the sun can burn your foliage,” she says.

Again, keep an eye on the weather forecast and if high temperatures are predicted for the following day, give your plants a big drink the night before. “Go for deeper watering rather than shallow watering,” she says. “When you do shallow watering, the roots stay close to the surface. “Stand there and water until such time as you can dig around in the soil and see whether you have moisture — you should be aiming for it to be moist five to 10cm down.”

Making more of mulch

Wherever you are in the garden, Angie says laying down mulch is an ideal way to protect the roots of your potted plants, shrubs, vegies and trees.

“I go through mulch by the cubic metre,” she says. “It protects the soil from exposure to the sun so it acts like an insulator and stops the soil from drying out.

“You also get all the beneficial bugs like earthworms and it reduces weeds.” Layer eucalyptus mulch around trees and shrubs 3cm to 5cm deep. For vegie patches, Angie suggests sugar cane mulch because it breaks down quicker and enriches the soil.


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