Summer is once again on our doorstep. Here in KwaZulu-Natal, we are about to enter the hottest period in our garden. For those gardeners that really put a serious amount of effort and time in their spring garden, now is the time to sit back, relax and enjoy your hard earned efforts.
Due to the heat of summer, gardening is now best done in the early mornings or late afternoons. With the current weather we are experiencing. it is hard to predict if if it will be hot and dry or hot and wet. As we generally get our rainfall in summer, let’s hope the rain does come.
As we approach the hot months from December to February, it is always necessary to increase your watering from once a week to twice a week for most plants. If you do not have an irrigation system, it’s advisable to install one. Simple irrigation systems are not expensive and they save both time and water. You can also purchase heat tolerant plants during the hotter months. So request them from your local nursery.
Succulents are also very popular and you have a huge range to choose from. Succulents that are indigenous are low in maintenance and are water wise plants. If you are looking at planting seedlings for colour during this time, Grovida sells a product called Aqua Stor. This product can be used at planting and it retains moisture in the soil. The product can last for up to 6 months.
Remember when watering, always water during the cooler times of the day; either early morning or late afternoon once the sun has gone down. Appling mulch in the form of either compost or bark also helps to keep the soil cool, which in return reduces evaporation.
Summer time is also a good time to fertilise your fruit trees. Use a 3:1:5 slow release and you will reap the rewards when the fruit bears.
Happy gardening! Remember to apply your sun lotion and be water wise.