The weather has certainly been hot all over this large country. We often get questions from our customers asking 'how do you keep your herbs happy in the garden during times of extreme heat'. Generally, we plant most herbs in a sunny position because they like to be in full sun and their flavour is better when they have been grown in a sunny position. Having said that, there are definitely a couple of things you can do to keep your summer herbs a little cooler and protected this summer.
Summer Watering Tips
- Herbs in the ground will benefit from deep soaking, this will encourage the roots to follow the water down and insulate them from heat.
- If your plants are in pots and the potting mix has dried out dunking the entire pot in a bucket of seaweed solution until the air bubbles stop coming can really help to moisten the potting mix well. Remember to let the pot drain freely after.
Apply Seaweed Solution
- Water your plants with a seaweed solution if you know you are going to have a hot day ahead.
- You can also apply it as a foliar spray before and after extreme heat to help your plants recover.
- We use Eco seaweed. Eco Seaweed is great for whenever your plants feel stressed.
- Remember, seaweed products are plant tonics, they do not replace fertiliser.
Use Portable Shade
- Giving your plants some shade from the burning hot sun can be achieved by covering with a portable shade source that can be moved when it is not so hot. When I was in Vietnam a few years back we went to a salad and herb farm. They used bamboo crossed at each end of the growing bed and laid a palm frond across them - it seemed to work really well.
- Beach umbrellas can easily be moved around to protect more delicate herbs from the sun.
- Pop up canopies are another option.
- A branch, big leaf or palm frond can offer enough shade to protect newly planted herbs in the garden
- Mulch is a great way to keep the ground cooler and retain moisture for your growing plants.
- Sugar Cane Mulch is a great option as it reflects sunlight, keeping the soil moist and cool.
- Other good options are Straw Mulch and Lucerne Mulch.
- Different mulches have varying nutrient values, but generally they all work well to build your soil structure, and retain nutrients and water in the soil.
Heading away for a few weeks over Summer?
If you're heading off somewhere over the holidays, your garden might suffer in the heat while you're away. So, I've gathered a few specific summer tips for that scenario.
Water the garden well so that the soil is really moist and then mulch thickly, this will hold the water in the soil for longer keeping your plants happy. Watering with seaweed solution will strengthen your plant's resistance to stress from heat and drought.
Some plants may like to be covered in shade cloth to protect them from drying out too quickly in the hot sun. You can use tomato stakes and poly pipe to make tents for vulnerable garden beds... there are plenty of YouTube videos on how to make these.
Timers can be bought for taps. Set the sprinkler up in the garden and connect to the tap timer. You can also connect a dripper hose to a timer to water plants while you are away.
Plants lose moisture through their leaves. Pruning them before you go away will help reduce moisture loss.
Pot plants can be put together in one area to make watering easier for a neighbour, or set a sprinkler up with a timer on it to water them. Another option for pot plants if you are not going away for too long is putting them on a tarp covered with a thick layer of wet coarse sand then mulch around the pots with cane mulch.
- Indoor plants can be put together in the bath or shower to water them well before you leave.
Do you have any ideas that you use for keeping your plants cool in summer? Feel free to get in touch and let us know!