Insulate your garden now! - Feb 04, 2009

With temperatures hitting 40+ the best way to protect your plants from the heat is to insulate the soil. Any mulch is better than no mulch but the finer the particle the more water it will hold when it does rain. Mulch is like a big sponge that soaks up the water and then releases it back into the soil over time. Large chunky mulches allow hot air in that dries out the soil . Pebbles are often used as mulch but these absorb the heat and dry out the soil even faster. They don’t absorb any water and they don’t add any organic matter to the soil. If you have children the pebbles will end up all over your lawn and in your pool too.

Mulches like Sugarcane and fine Termite resistant mulches are best. These break down over time adding organic matter to your soil. Organic matter absorbs water helping to drought proof your garden. It also releases nutrients that help make your plants grow stronger. Don’t forget to mulch around all your pot plants too. These are often forgotten and they are nearly always placed in the hottest areas around your house.

After mulching you will notice that sad looking drought affected plants will suddenly sprout fresh new growth. They will also get less diseases like mealy bug and black spot fungus.

Now if only we could get Kevin Rudd to pay for our garden insulation too.

Tim Pickles is a horticulturist and Director of Tim’s Garden Centre 2 Queen St Campbelltown. 46267022.