A Brief Guide to Garden Care in the Summer
Summer can be the most challenging time of the year for gardeners. Since plants thrive in moisture, drier climates can take a toll on the health of flowers and plants. By the end of December and through January and February, the combination of intense heat and the lack of rain can affect both plant growth and survival.
Keep your garden in good shape throughout summer with this summer gardening guide:
When you remove spent and wilted flowers, you spur the plants to produce more. Deadheading can also control the undesirable spread of plants, keeping your garden tidy. Annual blooms and repeat flowering shrubs will have more colour despite the warm weather if you deadhead.
Pesky weeds love the summer heat and take over the soil quickly if left unchecked. It’s important to pull them from your garden – as they steal moisture and nutrients from your plants. They are easiest to pull when they’re small and when the ground is slightly wet. Be sure to pull them from the roots so they don’t sprout up again.
Keeping Pots Cool
Potted plants, especially those in terracotta pots, are prone to overheating during the summer. If possible, position your potted plants away from direct sunlight in a shaded area of your garden. For potted plants that have already dried out, soak the soil in a bucket of water for half an hour, then drain.
Midsummer is a great time to fertilise plants. Yellowish leaves are often signs of an iron deficiency in unhealthy plants. Apply rich soluble fertiliser after a round of watering ‒ adding nutrients to the soil will correct mineral deficiencies. When your plants are well-fed in the summer, they’ll bloom better.
Although gardens attract pests all year long, summer seems to be the most troublesome time for pest control. Be on guard for species that bring more harm than good to your garden, such as cucumber beetles, grasshoppers, squash bugs and tomato hornworms. Watch for signs of disease in plants, like black spots or powdery mildew. The key to maintaining the health of your plants is in early detection of pest issues and prompt, decisive treatment.
Harvesting Fruit and Vegetables
If you grow fruit and vegetables in your garden, be sure to pick them as soon as they are ripe. Allowing the fruit to become over-mature slows its production in the summer and may spell the end of the season for those plants. You also need to harvest fruit before they are eaten by garden animals, which may also result in the plant being damaged.
Long and Lush Lawns
Some homeowners think cutting their lawns short keeps it alive in the hot weather. The truth is that letting the grass grow longer means better wear and suppresses weed growth. Keep your lawn lush in the summer by watering it more often and adding a small amount of fertiliser.
Water shortages are common in the summer, especially in drier climates like in Perth. Water tanks are an excellent solution for keeping water for the summer. They collect fresh rainwater and store it until you’re ready to water your garden.
At Rainfill Tanks & Curved Roofing Supplies, we carry a range of rainwater tanks made from durable and high quality materials. Maintain your garden in the summer by investing in a rainwater tank today.
Call us on 08 6401 0705.
Significantly Cut Your Laundry Water Consumption with these Tips
It is estimated that old washers use around 151.4 to 170.3 L of water per load while new, high-efficiency washers use 53 to 94.6 L of water. Thus, in a year, a family of four estimated to generate more than 300 loads, consumes around 45.4 m3 of water with old washers and around 15.9 m3. That’s 15,000 to 45,000 litres of water in a year. With the likelihood of drought in Australia and the forecast that drought is highly likely to be more frequent and severe from 2010 to 2040, the efficient use of water in every household is now more crucial.
Luckily, there are simple ways to be more water efficient when doing the laundry. Some require an investment, but the returns are worth it. To wash your laundry more efficiently, consider these tips:
Upgrade your washing machine
If you don’t have a front loading, higher efficiency washing machine, it might be time for an upgrade. Front-loading washing machines are identified as the most water-efficient system to use. If you already have this type of machine, but it’s more than eight years old, consider upgrading to a newer model. With the advancement of technology, newer models are getting more water and electricity efficient almost every year.
The right cycles and load sizes
Washing with a full load is more efficient in terms of water and electricity consumption. If you have a smaller load, take time to adjust the settings to the appropriate load size and the right type of cycle. You can also skip the extra rinse cycle if you use the right amount of detergent and load the washer properly.
Harvesting rainwater for household use is a great way to cut your water bill costs. With the right tank size and filter, you can use stored rainwater for all your cleaning needs.
Rainfill Tanks and Curved Roofing Supplies is a manufacturer of corrugated iron products such as rainwater tanks. For decades, we’ve been helping Perth residents have a secure rainwater tank system, allowing them to save money and water in the long run.
If you’re interested in having your own rainwater tank, contact Rainwater Tanks today.
Protecting Your Rainwater Tank from Mosquitoes
A rainwater tank is one of the eco-friendliest ways to store fresh water. However, rainwater tanks can become a breeding site for mosquitoes such as the Aesdes notoscriptus species. It is responsible for transmitting the Ross River and Barmah Forest viruses in Western Australia.
Using an Insect-Proof Screen
To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your tank, check its inside for mosquitoes and larvae every three months. If you notice larvae floating in the tank, check for a gap in the lid. If the lid is secure, check that the inlet and overflow pipes are covered with a removable insect screen.
The Australian Public Health Regulation 2005 states that all rainwater tank openings must have a mesh that is no bigger than 1mm in size. Queensland regulations require screens to be made of brass, copper, aluminium or stainless steel gauze, while Northern Territory regulations require bronze or brass wire. Western Australia has similar mosquito management regulations, which are incorporated into Perth’s Environmental Health Department’s Mosquito Management Programme.
Alternative Prevention Techniques
One alternative is the use of ProLink XR Briquettes that contain 18 grams of S-Methoprene. This treatment does not contaminate stored rainwater and is odourless and tasteless. The briquettes do not kill mosquito larvae but prevent their growth. One briquette per 5,000 litres of water provides protection against mosquito breeding for six months.
Another way is to add a teaspoon of medicinal or liquid paraffin, or domestic kerosene in your tank. The Australian Department of Health recommends that the dosage for kerosene is 5 millilitres (one teaspoon) for a 1 kilolitre tank or 15 millilitres (three teaspoons) for a 10 kilolitre tank. For paraffin, the dosage is double the amount of kerosene.
Only a licensed pest management technician has the authority to treat rainwater tanks using these techniques.
Rainfill Tanks provide a range of high-quality rainwater tanks in Perth, WA. Our tanks come in various shapes and sizes. If you want to inquire about our tanks, call (08) 9302 1159.
The Best Plants to Grow in Raised Garden Beds
Growing your own food is a sustainable way to a healthier lifestyle. For city dwellers, gardening on rooftops or in backyards is a fulfilling way of getting involved with nature.
You can use planters to grow your own vegetables. You can also use planters to create raised garden beds. If you want to grow your own food but don’t know where to start, consider the following plants. (more…)
Tips for Washing Your Car At Home
The rainclouds have parted, and your rainwater tanks are filled. The car is ripe for washing, and you want to do it at home to save a few dollars. Also, it can be a great way to unwind on a Saturday afternoon.