THINGS TO DO IN SUMMER
If you haven’t already done so in Spring, apply trace elements to all your trees - either granular or foliar (quicker).
- Give your cycads manganese sulphate if looking brown and frizzled. This is called ‘frizzle top”. Hint: water first then mix manganese with liquid fertiliser like EcoFish.
- Lightly prune hedges, roses + spring flowering shrubs by 1/3.
- Apply Drought shield to heat sensitive trees and shrubs. This is works like a sun screen.
- Time to haul out the 40 - 50% shadecloth or lace curtains to protect vegies in full sun.
- Apply worm friendly wetting agents - liquid works the best - try Eco Hydrate or EcoWet. Check out our article on wetting agents.
- Keep on top of fruit fly. Check out www.petercoppin.com for hints.
- Check reticulation is working and not obstructed with dirt or ants.
- Mulch: 5--60mm depth is best. Ensure soil is moist before mulching and mulch with a mixture of chunky & fine bits. Use recycled prunings, shredded pinebark or coco-peat.
- Plant mangoes (shade them for their 1st 2 summers) bananas, pawpaw now.
- Feed gardenias a weak cup of cold black tea every 2-3 weeks till March. Tea is a pesticide, acidifier and fertiliser. Alternate this with natural liquid fertiliser.
- Keep liquid feeding vegies every 2-3 weeks. Eco Growth’s Ecofish and EcoVital are both excellent, even better use home made worm/compost tea.
- Raise height on mower blades for buffalo lawns to avoid scalping in the heat.
- Give passionfruit and roses slow release fertiliser and a seaweed drink.
- Reminder - shade new plantings with shade cloth, nylon curtains or umbrellas in the very hot weather to protect from heat stress until established. Avoid direct contact with nylon and your the plants as it may burn them in the heat.
- Again, check reticulation is working or if hand watering, buy a Dramm Watering wand - they are marvellous.
- Check for red spider mite & mealy bug on shade plants & roses. Use EcoNeem or DE.
- Feed mangoes, bananas and potted citrus with liquid fertiliser. Eco Vital is excellent. Do monthly until March.
- Tie down climbing roses horizontally to encourage more lateral growth and flowers. Use velcro, pantyhose or Ezy Ties to avoid ring barking. Check under ties for pests.
- Remove agapanthus flowers immediately before they fade to prevent seeding.
- Check citrus for scale, use Eco oil. Again, avoid spraying when over 28C.
- Buy a market umbrella or install a shadesail if your alfresco area is too hot.
- Gently summer prune stone fruit and apples/pears instead of doing so in winter.
- Prune back wisteria by cutting back all long sappy trailing shoots to 4 or 5 buds from the main stem to encourage flowers next spring. Never prune it in winter unless you don’t want it to flower in spring.
- Treat your heat stressed plants to a tonic of seaweed liquid every now and then.
- Forget about the idea of perfection in your garden. It rarely exists, particularly in late summer in Perth!