News & tips -


The long hot summer will be a welcome relief for many, especially after a year of almost constant rain. However, while we frolic in the sunshine our leaf tipped friends can be sweltering in the intense heat. Too much rain is arguably a more difficult problem than too much sun, but we need to make sure we tend to the needs of our plants in these conditions to get the absolute best out of them. This includes your lawn!

All your plants need moisture so regular irrigation is the first thing you need to sort. Newton's have a moisture metre – easy to use and easy to read $15.90. Gives you a tool to take action immediately. And we also have a great little pistol grip hose nozzle for hand watering $20.90. Not a cheap plastic thing like the others sell. This one’s got full metal insides, is tough and lets you get water in the right place without wastage.

You also need to consider the intensity and temperature of the sun. When plants are exposed to enormous amounts of sunlight and heat for too long, they can develop heat stress. Heat stress often refers to a period in which plants are subjected to high temperatures for long enough to permanently alter their ability to function or grow normally. Some of the signs of plants suffering from heat stress are:
Wilting - Each further delay in treating a plant wilted from heat stress raises the risk that it may suffer irreversible damage. There is a high likelihood that plants are experiencing heat stress if they wilt during the day’s hottest period and then revive in the evening or morning.
Flower and fruit drop - Hot weather causes flower and fruit drops in cucumbers, squash, and peppers.
Bolting - Due to the effect of heat stress on crop yield, sometimes crops bloom too early before their typical harvesting season. This process, called 'bolting' may be fatal for many cool-weather crops, including broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, lettuce and cilantro.

So how can we protect our plants from this sort of stress?
Regular irrigation firstly but you must also shield your crops from excessive sunlight when it is very hot. Temporary shading is a must.
Hold off on the fertiliser until the temperature cools down a bit. Young, developing plants are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of high temperatures, and the plant is put under additional stress and at increased risk when temperatures soar.
Apply mulch as a layer of pea straw, hay, leaves, or pine needles 10-15 cm thick which can help reduce the temperature and lessen the adverse impacts of heat on plant roots.
Get rid of the weeds, as most are more able to withstand heat stress than cultivated plants, making them competitors for moisture and nutrients. That’s why it’s important to get rid of as many weeds as you can, so your crops can survive in the heat.

Don’t forget your feathered friends either! With the lack of rain they often need an additional source of water. Try leaving a bird waterer out for them - it’s just a nice thing to do! We have bird waterers starting from $8.90.

Cropsafe mesh helps prevent insect damage and shades your plants. 3.7m wide & sold by the metre at $12.50/m.