Ahh, the Australian summer …
Blistering 40 degree days, where you could fry an egg on your driveway, boil water without a kettle, and be dripping wet without stepping foot near water – and that’s just in the shade!
Although not every summer’s day is this extreme, and not everywhere in Australia is like this in the summer (southern Tasmania, anyone?), no matter where you live across our magnificent continent, you are – at least occasionally – bound to come across temperatures well above 30 degrees with hot, dry winds.
The Bureau of Meteorology defines drought as what happens when rainfall is in its lowest 10% over a three-month period. But your plants couldn’t care less about that. We define drought as any period of time where heat and lack of water stresses your garden beyond its capacity to adapt and recover. However, it comes, and however you reasonably define it, drought is drought and it can be unrelenting in its drying effect!
As humans living in the age of modern technology and air conditioners, when the temperatures soar, we’re able to retreat comfortably indoors to stay cool. We can even bring the pets inside, keeping them out of the sun and giving them plenty of water.
That’s all well and good for us, but do we spare a thought for our gardens? Our plants and gardens don’t have the option of uprooting themselves, taking a walk inside and lying down under a stream of air-conditioned air. No matter what the conditions may be, your plants are outside 24/7.
Over time, we have come up with some impressive strategies for dealing with temperature and water-supply extremes, but there are other ways we can provide our plants with some extra support.
Drought Protection Is More Than Just Watering
We know that we need to wear sunscreen, sunglasses, hats and protective clothing to prevent sunburn. We know that we need to keep hydrated. We know that you’re reading this article because you care about your garden. You know that you have to protect your plants from too much heat and the risk of dehydration to protect them against wilting, drying up and ultimately dying.
But for many gardeners, the response to heat and dryness is simply to water, water, water. While this might be well intentioned and sound reasonable, watering is more an emergency response and is not necessarily the best way to deal with drought, whether it’s an isolated extremely hot day or many hot days in a row. In order to deal with drought in a truly effective way, you need to understand a little about how plants actually work.
How Plants Make a Living
Just like people, plants get their energy from carbohydrates and fats. But animals get their carbs and fats from plants. Animals are, as far as plants are concerned, predators, parasites and only occasional business partners. Plants make their own food. Plants eat light. They breathe in carbon dioxide and drink water. From these three inputs they make carbs and oils through the magic of chlorophyll (the thing that makes so many plants green) and a chemical process called photosynthesis (derived from the Greek words meaning ‘putting together with light’).
Our local teams of landscaping and gardening experts provide a wide range of flower and garden bed services for both residential and commercial clients. Every team is reliable, professional and highly experienced. They’ll keep your garden beds healthy and vibrant all year long.
Our garden care crews always arrive in branded vehicles and full uniform. We believe in integrity, consistency and professionalism so you can always rely on us to take excellent care of your home and garden. In fact, we’ll treat your home or commercial garden as if it’s our own!
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