The Essential Summer-Time Guide for your Highlands Garden
You wouldn’t think so but Southern Highlands summers can be hot, dusty and stinky, let’s be real. But we do love how it cools down when the sun sets and that warm golden light throws itself across our gorgeous gardens.
So what should we be doing in the garden in these hotter months to keep plants healthy, trees strong and grass green? The key is watering (being water wise, of course! That means watering first thing in the morning and in the evening), pruning and keeping one step ahead of those naughty little bugs and fungus infestations.
So how do you do that?
You ask a gardening guru! Michael Nichols of Turf 2 Trees Horticulture is certainly one of those. Michael and his crazy talented team do complete landscape management, specialising in acreage, formal gardens and show gardens….and wow! We’ve had a sneak peek at their work and the gardens are ridiculously stunning!
Michael has put together a month by month guide of what to do and when in the garden during this season.
Your summer gardening calendar is now officially sorted!
So let’s go…..
The garden can easily get out of control in the summer months so be proactive about pruning and weeding!
Keep an eye out for cherry slug in your cherries, pears etc.
Routine watering, weeding and pest checking should be part of your weekly ‘potter’ around the garden now
Tip prune your herbs to stop flowering and encourage thick plants
Now is the time to get those summer bulbs in the ground. Think liliums, hippeastrums and gladioli. Your Dahlias should also be shooting up, make sure you keep on top of the snails.
Be on guard for fungus infection or try some preventive measures such as improving light and air circulation through pruning to keep your plants flourishing
Control fruit fly by picking up any fallen fruit and place traps
Prune Weigelia, rosemary, lilac and philadelphus after they’ve flowered
Keep on top of wisteria and ornamental grape as it will no doubt be reaching high and low
Ensure flowering plants such as dahlias, foxgloves and delphinium are staked
Watering during the night will increase the effectiveness of your water by reducing the evaporation from the hot sun!
Traditionally a hot month, January is all about keeping thirsty plants hydrated.
Always double check the chemical labels for temperature thresholds. Most sprays will burn at temperatures of 27 degrees and above
Check your fruit trees are receiving enough water – they definitely need it at this time of year!
if your lemon and lime trees are established (more than 2 years old) they should only need a good deep watering once or twice a week. However, they are very heavy feeders so throw the fertiliser on! FYI citrus and rose fertiliser are the same thing.
Time to look ahead to the cooler months!
Start planning for autumn and think about purchasing spring flowering bulbs ready for planting in March – tulips (obviously!) and iris grow really well in the Highlands.
Retain the moisture in your pots for longer by mulching with an organic mulch or decorative pebble. If pots dry too much and rehydration is hard, submerge the pot in a bucket of water with a dash of seasol and a wetting agent, wait until the bubbles stop then you know your pot is soaked through again!
Did you know plants exhibit the same physical symptoms if they are dry or too wet?? Be sure to get on the ground and dig around to ensure one or the other!
Fertilising your plants and lawns is a great way to keep them at their best, but be sure to water in straight after fertilizing or it will burn.
Hedging in summer requires planning. Be sure not to trim hedges too hard when its really hot, this can be fatal!
Turf 2 Trees Horticulture is a Landscape and Estate Management business, specialising in acreage, formal gardens and show gardens with over ten years of horticulture and turf management experience. A local business who has mastered the art of their craft in the unique Highlands climate, the team at Turf 2 Trees Horticulture focus on efficiency and high-quality property maintenance.
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