Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

It'll Be a Long Hot Summer

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

It'll Be a Long Hot Summer

Article excerpt

What a difference a couple of months can make.

It's only a short time ago that we were wishing that it would just stop raining and now we could really do with some rain.

If the last week is anything to go by, we could be in for a long hot summer, so now is the time to get the garden prepared for it.


A well-structured soil will hold moisture for much longer than a poorly-structured one.

A well-structured soil can be either sand or clay based as long as it doesn't go too far in either direction.

What it must contain though, is plenty of organic material. In nature this organic material would be supplied by years of leaf fall in forests or dead and decaying plants in grasslands.

In our backyard gardens we do not have the luxury of nature providing much organic matter for us so we have to add it ourselves.

You may have your own compost heap going in the backyard and this will be an excellent source of organic matter but the average compost heap may not provide all the material you need.

Mushroom compost is probably the next best thing and I talked about that a couple of weeks ago. If you are preparing a vegie patch, an area for annuals or a new garden bed, dig the compost into the soil that is there.

If you are rejuvenating an existing garden and aren't removing the plants already in it, you can lay down a layer of compost before covering it with mulch. Worms and other soil organisms will do the job for you and work the compost into the soil.

Do you have an area that water just can't seem to penetrate? Using a wetting agent will assist here and will also improve the soils ability to hold moisture.

Water storage crystals (they are different to wetting agents) will further increase the water holding capacity of the soil and they need to be evenly dispersed through the soil, not left on the surface.


I keep saying it again and again, mulching is the best thing you can do for your garden and do it now while there is still good sub-soil moisture about. …

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