The temperature is rising fast and it’s undoubtedly summertime! You prepare yourself for the ‘swelter season’ in many ways, but have you ever prepared your yard for summer? Don’t worry – most people don’t consider it, because it’s assumed that gardens just need a bit of extra watering and they’ll thrive no matter what the conditions. That’s not technically true though and the harsh summer conditions can dramatically impact most species of trees and plants. Thankfully, there’s plenty you can do to ensure your trees and plants don’t suffer. Here’s how:
Create a location-specific garden
If you plan your garden for the local conditions in the first place, you won’t have as many issues down the track. Choose native Queensland species or species that can withstand our harsh climate, ensuring that they are water-wise plants (your local nursery can advise you on which plants are). Of course, that’s all very well to say, but if you’ve already got an established garden, you’ll need to do other things, so keep reading…
Plant trees and shrubs at the right time
The best time to plant them is from Autumn to early Winter, which gives them time to get established before summer. Once your trees and shrubs become established, they should require less care than when they are young. As a bonus, they’ll provide shade and shelter for your home and property, as well as attract local wildlife, such as birds, bees and other beneficial fauna.
Water, water, water
But make sure you don’t just start watering heavily when the hot weather starts. Instead, start slowly in early spring and build it up so your trees and plants don’t get sick from too much water too fast. Deep watering is great and causes your trees and plants to put down deep roots, meaning they’ll be more resilient and more likely to withstand the summer heat. During the hotter days, water your garden in the early morning or late evening, which will give the water a chance to properly soak in. If you water in the middle of the day, much of the water will evaporate quickly.
It’s fine to fertilise your plants with an organic fertiliser, but just be careful of overdoing it. Over-fertilising can actually cause your plants to be more susceptible to pests and disease. Don’t use phosphate-based fertilisers as many plants – especially Aussie natives – do not respond well to them.
A good method for preventing moisture evaporation is to lay down a layer of mulch on your garden beds and around your trees. This prevents evaporation, cool the soil and adds nutrients to the soil. If you happen to be getting a tree lopped or removed by us, we can actually mulch it for you and leave it with you so you can use it for your garden!
Do a plant or tree check-up
Check your trees and plants regularly for signs of illness, damage or stress. You’ll see symptoms like cracked trunks, changes in the way the bark looks, foliage changing colour suddenly or falling off in large amounts, visible pests or damage done by them, deadwood or anything odd about the surrounding soil. This is especially important going into the storm season, as a sick, diseased or damaged tree is prone to dropping limbs or falling over. If you notice any of these symptoms, your best bet is to call in a professional arborist – like one of the friendly and experienced Brisbane Treeworx team – so they can investigate and treat your tree.
As you can see, despite widespread belief, your trees and shrubs don’t always just look after themselves and may require extra care under extreme conditions. High temperatures and low water availability can leave your poor trees stressed and this opens them up to illness, disease and pest infestations.
Thankfully, there’s plenty you can do to help your yard thrive over the summer season. If you need a little help from an arborist though, don’t hesitate to contact us on 0400 249 099 or by clicking here.