Summer should be the time when you get to sit back and enjoy your garden. Here are some tips to keep your garden in great shape before things heat up.

Luke Hughes

Luke Hughes is a Horticulturist, Landscape Gardener and Classical Western Herbalist.

1 / Early summer is a good time to stay on top of all the gardens’ pruning needs. Spring flowering perennials, shrubs and climbers should be pruned now to ensure a good show next year. Deadheading all fading spring blooms will keep the garden looking tidy and can extend flowering periods.  

2 / Stay on top of weeds as the warm weather, accompanied by intermittent rain and thunderstorms, encourage summer growth.  As it’s always a good idea to avoid using chemical sprays, best to tackle this by hand or with a garden hoe. 

3 / Lawns will need extra watering as the weather warms up, especially if you laid new turf during spring. Likewise, your garden may need extra watering as we start to experience extended dry periods. Do this early in the morning or in the evening to avoid scorch. Better yet, set up a drip irrigation system that will promote deeper rooting plants and cut down on evaporation.

4 / Topping up garden beds with mulch or compost will also stop plants from drying out. Ensure you water thoroughly before you mulch. 

5 / Keep up regular lawn mowing and edging at this time, taking off only the tips of the lawn to promote a lush and healthy coverage. Liquid feed tired lawns with seaweed solution.

6 / This time of year is the best time to introduce fish into your pond as the water temperature has risen over spring and early summer, allowing introduced fish to acclimatise easily to their new environment. If your pond has blanket weed and duckweed it will have multiplied rapidly by now and should be thinned out as well.

7 / Now is your last chance to put in new plants before the worst of the summer heat. Fill any gaps in beds with summer annuals, they will provide colour from late summer through autumn. 

8 / Consider planting out a sunny part of the garden with Mediterranean herbs. This aromatic group of plants thrive in the hot and dry Australian climate and are resilient against our surprisingly cold winters as well. If your situation allows, plant them close to the kitchen for easy access.