Happy New Year!

Hands and plantHappy New Year to all our seedy friends and family! With the New Year comes the hot weather! The burning heat and winds can crisp your beloved plants in a few hours! There are ways and means of protecting your precious plants and here are some ideas that will stand them in better stead of living through some of the hottest summers we have ever had!

Soil: Make sure your soil is rich with compost and organic matter, this holds water and provides nutrients so your plants are strong and healthy. It encourages deep roots too which are better placed to search out pockets of moisture.

Of course, some plants cannot stand being in wet soil but “free draining” doesn’t mean no compost as compost adds to the draining abilities of your soil! Compost encourages worms that create long holes all through the soil, these allow water to flow through the soil and add air pockets too. In pots consider adding water crystals when planting them up, these can be life savers! They hold up to ten times their weight in water and the roots can obtain that water whenever they need it!

Adding a layer of mulch will also enable water to stay in the soil much longer! Shading the roots and adding nutrients as it breaks down. Make sure the mulch sits away from the stems and trunks so it doesn’t encourage them to rot.

Cover: An old white sheet can be a life saver, just drape it over your plants, old window netting, bits of shade cloth! Dark colours tend to draw the heat, light colours reflect it. Light weight and shade creating is all it needs to be! I use an old sarong to cover my plants that might catch a bit of the sun and they can look decorative and provide much needed shade! If your plants are delicate, hammer some sticks in the ground and drape the cloth over it. Tie it on with string. An old clothes rack with a sheet over it or even shade cloth attached can provide a transportable shade maker!

Putting up a shade house or a patio is a longer term solution, but you can also bring your potted plants closer to your house under the cover of the eaves, find the shade around your home and pop your plants into it. Make sure you take off the covers regularly as your plants will still need some light and use them when it’s really hot or there is a hot wind.

Water: It’s obvious you will need to water more but where you water and when can make all the difference! Water the roots, not the leaves! Water directed at the roots gets directly down to where the plant needs it most. Water the leaves and every droplet in the sun will heat up and create lots of little burning points all over your plant! If you water at night and the leaves get drenched you could end up with Mildew which quickly takes over with the white fluffy spores harming your plants.

We have water drippers in the store which will slowly drop water onto your plants for up to 12 days – perfect for indoor plants when you go on holidays or just if you always forget! HOLIDAY WATER DRIPPER WATERS UP TO 2 WEEKS!

So watering in the early morning when the sun is not too hot and the water on the leaves and stems will dry during the day is best. Smaller containers lose water more quickly so with hanging baskets and small pots you may need to water more frequently. Some plants like Cacti will appreciate a bit of water every few weeks now.

You could also invest in a Soil moisture detector, often they also have a PH reader on them too which is a great tool! Soon we will have these in our store, keep watching! A saucer of water with small stones on top, then stand your plant pot on the stones, can create a more humid environment that some plants will love.

Keep an eye on Ponds and water features too, warmer water means that string algae will be having a field day and can quickly take all the air from the water, starving fish for oxygen. If your hose fittings are breaking down, try this cheap alternative, just $3.00! HOSE CONNECTOR SET

A few ideas but certainly not all! Research on the net for more! Until the next time just keep growing!

Cheers, Wendy