Summer is a time to enjoy the riotous colours and relaxing days. It’s a time to maintain, plant and plan for the year ahead.
What to Plant
1. Vegetables and Herbs – Basil, beans (climbing or dwarf), beetroot, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, capsicum, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chicory, Chinese cabbage, chives, chilli, choko, cucumber, dill, eggplant, endive, fennel, leeks, lemon grass, lettuce, marjoram, melons, mint, oregano, parsnips, parsley, pumpkin, radish, rhubarb, rocket, radicchio, rosemary, sage, silver beet, spring onions, squash, sweet corn, thyme, tomatoes, tarragon and zucchini.
2. Geranium Big Red – Go big on colour this spring and summer with this amazing, intense, red flowering Geranium. People often say that the Geraniums here in Australia just don’t have the intensity of these they’ve seen in Italy and Europe. Well, that was before Big Red came along. Big Red delivers that Italian Geranium look in spades! Big red is a cross between ivy and common (zonal) geraniums, so it has a wonderful, mounded habit. It’s ideal for feature pots, baskets, window boxes and performs just as well in garden beds. Best in full sun conditions.3. Aloha Mandevillas – Get set for non-stop colour this season with these brilliant tropical look Mandevillas. There are five Aloha colours to choose from – Bright Pink, Red, Dark Red, Regal Ruby and White. Use them as short climbers on arches, pergola posts and on fences. Plant them into display pots or hanging baskets and watch them grow. While these plants are climbers, they can easily be kept shrub-like by trimming off the climbing shoots as they appear.4. Trees – Summer is once again on its way, so now is a good time to think about shade trees for your garden. The value of trees in our warm summer climate cannot be under-estimated. Trees provide welcome shade from the summer sun, cooling the environment and casting gentle patterns of light and dark beneath them. Advanced trees bring instant structure to your garden and are a great investment. Choose from our range of Advanced trees including; Chinese Tallows, Evergreen Magnolias including Little Gem and Kay Parris, Ornamental Plum Trees including Burgundy Plum, Double Pink Flowering Plum, and narrow growing, Oakville Crimson Spire. There’s also Ornamental Pears including Chanticleer and Capital, Weeping Mulberries and more!
3. Succulents – Succulents are the ultimate waterwise plants. Excellent, for tough hot spots. They can we mixed and matched to create wonderful living coral type effects. They perform well in pots, baskets, bowls and vertical gardens (green walls). A recent addition to our succulent collection is Senecio Blue Chalk Sticks. This spreading, clump forming perennial has steely-blue, cylindrical foliage. It is a wonderful contrast plant, which would make a fascinating border with a difference.
4. Fragrant Frangipanis – Frangipanis are tropical trees, reaching around 2.5-4 metres high, with a distinctive umbrella shaped canopy. Frangipanis are slow growers, typically adding only about 20-30cm in height each year. They make beautiful and long lasting container plants for sunny verandas, balconies and courtyards, where they can be enjoyed for many years before they out -grow their pots. Frangipanis are sun lovers and branch after each flowering, becoming more beautiful with each passing year.7. Cora Cascade Vincas – Cora Cascade Vincas are a new take on these popular and hardy summer favourites. What’s new is their fantastic trailing habit and larger vibrant flowers, which virtually cover the whole plant. These loving, cascading Vincas are a top choice for hanging baskets, pots, planters, window boxes and display beds. To get the best results, use Dawson’s Premium Potting Mix when potting Cora Cascade Vincas and water regularly. Cora Cascade Vincas are available in a range of vibrant colours including: Cherry, Lilac, Magenta, Polka Dot and Strawberry.
5. Gardenias – These deliciously fragrant shrubs make perfect container plants. Gardenias are hard to resist with their glossy, green foliage and beautifully sculptured flowers. Select from creamy flowering forms including Aimee Yoshiba, Florida, Professor Pucci and Ocean Pearl, or unique old gold, Golden Magic.
6. Hibiscus – Add a touch of tropical colour to your garden with long flowering Hibiscus. These versatile plants make ideal hedges, screens or windbreaks and are just the thing for hiding the fence line. They look great around pools and perform well in coastal gardens. Try favourite varieties like; Cuban Variety, Nicole Louise, Mrs Geroge Davis, Pendunculatum and Sabrina.
Jobs to do around the garden
1. Revive heat affected plants by applying a liquid soil wetting product like Eco Wet to the root zone and then following up with a weekly feed of Seasol.
2. Container plants growing in sunny, exposed positions will also benefit from an application of water-saving mulch. Use quality coarse grade mulch, like pine bark mulch, but remember don’t mulch right up the stem.
3. Summer is the perfect time to plant advanced trees.
4. Continue to “dead head” roses by removing spent flowers to encourage repeat flowering.
5. Feed Hibiscus monthly until late autumn, with a good, balanced fertiliser like Dawson’s All Purpose Fertiliser.
6. Outdoor pots can be shielded in heat wave conditions by temporarily wrapping the outside of pots with cardboard. You can even make a cut out to line the top of the pot. This in effect adds another layer of heat insulation.
7. Apply quality wetting agents like Eco Wet, Grosorb or Aqua Wett to water repellent garden area and lawns. Soil wetters allow water to penetrate deeply and quickly into our water resistant soils.
8. Set your lawnmower blades a bit higher. This allows grass to grow taller and the self -shading effect will reduce heat stress and water loss via evaporation.
9. Build a basic shade structure to protect your vegetables from the summer sun. Simple arches can be made from lengths black irrigation piping, over which you can cover with 20-50% shade cloth.
10. Freshly planted roses will need to be hand watered every day during their first summer in the garden. When hand watering give, roses a decent soak. You want water to penetrate deep into the root zone to encourage healthy and deeper root development.