Recent News

Top summer landscaping and gardening tips

John from General Lawns and Landscapes shares his tips on getting your lawn through the remaining part of summer, and even the start of Autumn which can offer up some residual extreme heat for plants. How often should you water the garden, mow the lawn, weed the garden, replace or add new plants? Summer can be tough on plants and the garden in the hot months, or it can be fruitful if you have the inside knowhow.


How do you keep the garden and lawn hydrated over summer?


Your lawn needs at least 3-5cm of water per week, year-round, during the winter, too. Water deeply 2-3 times per week, rather than daily. Water as early in the morning as you can, when possible. If you can't push a 6” screwdriver into your lawn, you're not watering enough.

When it's hot

Watering for longer periods of time less often will promote deeper roots, greater drought tolerance and less maintenance. Water your lawn in the morning when it is cool to allow more water to soak into the ground rather than evaporate. Avoid watering in the evening to prevent fungus and disease


A carefully maintained lawn and garden can mean the difference between your plants barely surviving or beautifully thriving in the summer heat.

Whether you live in steamy tropical areas that receive heavy summer rains or cooler, more temperate areas, water management ought to be a priority. Adding a wetting agent and organic mulch to the soil can help protect your plants from drying out and can improve the overall appearance of your garden beds. Wetting agents help the soil to absorb and disperse any water that falls on it more evenly and effectively. Even if your garden receives large amounts of rainfall during summer, the addition of a wetting agent can help to ensure that the soil is able to absorb all of the water that falls instead of remaining on the surface. Soils with wetting agents are able to hold on to moisture for longer, which may mean watering less if you live in a drier climate while still being able to enjoy a vibrant garden.

Organic mulches and fertilisers can also provide essential nutrients and help to keep your plants from drying out. Mulching reduces the amount of watering you need to do by up to 60 percent, inhibits the growth of weeds and improves overall plant and soil health. The type of mulch you use, such as compost, old wood chips, hay or old lawn clippings, can provide different textures and colours to help liven up your garden.


How often and what tips would you give for mowing a lawn over summer?

For a lawn to be green it must be growing. Grass pales and turns yellow over time unless it's growing. Second, the key factor to keeping a growing lawn healthy is mowing it according to its growth. Therefore, if you get it growing quickly (fertiliser, lots of rain, etc.) then you simply need to be mowing more often. The faster the growth, the more mowing is needed, but the greener the lawn. Most advice for a healthy lawn says to follow the ‘one-third rule': Never cut more than one-third of the height. If your grass is growing, you’ll be mowing. Each grass type looks best and stays healthiest at a certain height. Use your mower to maintain that height as closely as possible. Cutting your lawn too short can be just as damaging as letting it grow too tall. The basic rule of mowing is to never cut more than one-third of the leaf blade. Generally, this means mowing about once a week. In other words, it's true that mowing can be unhealthy for the lawn, especially if the lawn was cut too short within too short of a time period. In other words, you want to be consistent about mowing, and if you get it too long, you should only cut off 1/3 the next mowing and then gradually reduce the height.


What tips would you give for weeding the garden?

Remove the weed completely from root to seed head and dispose of it properly so its seeds don’t fall onto your grass, making the whole process begins again. Place weeds into a bucket or plastic bag as you work, then put them straight into the garbage when you’re done. Weed on a weekly basis. Maybe you won’t have to do it that often (it depends on how big your garden is and how bad your weed problem is) but staying on top of the issue will keep the task of weeding more manageable. Mowing regularly will remove heads from weeds and prevent them from spreading their seeds across your garden.

The Tools

Prepare yourself for the task ahead with the right tools. You’ll need a fork for flat weeds and a trowel for removing any weeds with deep roots, a bucket, and gloves. A screwdriver is also handy for getting weeds out from in between concrete.

Tip 1. Moisten Your Soil

Before you begin, help loosen the soil by spraying it with water (or wait to weed after it’s been raining). You don’t want the ground to be drenched; soil should be damp and soft to make pulling out the weeds nice and easy.

Tip 2. Weed On A Weekly Basis

Okay, so maybe you won’t have to do it that often (it depends on how big your garden is and how bad your weed problem is) but staying on top of the issue will keep the task of weeding more manageable.

Tip 3. Mow The Lawn

Mowing regularly will remove heads from weeds and prevent them from spreading their seeds across your garden.

Tip 4. Layer With Soil

Weeds need light to survive so cut them off from their food source by burying them under a few centimetres of dirt or mulch. Remember, when you’re gardening there’s likely to be weed seeds hidden under the dirt so whenever you disturb the soil make sure you recover it or plant over the top to avoid new weeds from sprouting.

Tip 5. Place Plants Close Together

By planting your flora close together, you’re creating a shady space between the two plants. Weeds won’t grow in cool, dark places.

Tip 6. Get Some Chickens

Chickens love to eat weed seeds. Letting them run loose in your garden will reduce the amount of weeding you need to do yourself.


What should be considered when replacing or adding plants over summer?

When deciding what to plant in your garden for summer, it’s best to choose plants that don’t require a lot of shade or moisture. There are plenty of hardy natives and water-wise plants that flourish in hotter weather.

If you have any plants that prefer cooler weather, then installing some shade is a great way to help them get through summer. Vegetables tend to love the sun but not too much, so a bit of shade will help them cope with hotter conditions. Consider a shade cloth, tarpaulin or even a shade sail to block any direct sunlight.

Every garden needs good soil, especially when the conditions are hot and dry. Adding organic matter is a great way to enrich the soil. So, when you plant, add some compost or soil improver to enhance your soil’s wettability and water holding capacity. It will also help with the transfer of nutrients to your plants.

Introducing organic matter to your soil also creates a healthy home for microbes and other beneficial organisms like worms. It helps keep the soil healthy and protects root systems from pests and diseases.

If you have an established garden, add some compost to the topsoil around plant roots and lightly turn it into the soil. Also, mulch the garden well. Covering your soil with straw, bark, pebbles or other ground covers will help stop water from evaporating in the heat and keep plant roots cooler.

How should you prune trees over summer?

To direct the growth by slowing the branches you don’t want, pruning should be done soon after seasonal growth is complete. The reason for the slowing effect is that you reduce the total leaf surface, thereby reducing the amount of food manufactured and sent to the roots. Another reason to prune in the summer is for corrective purposes. Defective limbs can be seen more easily, or limbs that hang down too far under the weight of the leaves.

What plants love summer?

  • Dahlias
  • Frangipanis
  • Gardenias
  • Kangaroo Paws
  • Grevillea
  • Bougainvlllea
  • Echinacea
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Bottle Brush
  • Banksia

Original Link...