Gardening in Western Australia comes with a lot of unique challenges. With mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers, the biggest challenges gardeners face is how much to water their garden. The right amount of water will help your plants and trees flourish. Often times though, we overestimate how much water is needed.

Why is Over-watering Bad?

Why is overwatering our gardens bad? Aren’t we making sure they’re getting enough water for the dry summers?

Over-watering our garden plants and trees will kill them just as fast as under-watering will. There are several reasons for this.

1. Over-watering cuts off oxygen
While plant leaves absorb carbon dioxide from the air, it’s the roots that need to absorb oxygen. If there is too much water surrounding the roots, the flow of oxygen is cut off and the plant literally drowns.

2. Over-watering creates root rot
Just as too little water will make the roots brittle and dry, excess water will harbor an environment for root rot. Although this condition is mostly seen in indoor plants, it could still happen with outdoor gardens.

Tips to keep from Over-Watering

If you have or are in the process of planting a flower garden, consider planting native flowers and trees. Lavender, thyme, and rosemary are some herbs that thrive in Mediterranean/subtropic climates.

Native shrubs and climbing vines love the Western Australian climate. Olive and pomegranate trees are just some types that were built to thrive in the subtropics.

If you are worried about your plants getting enough water, check the soil. If it seems too dry, then wet it down, but not so much there is a puddle. Maybe consider putting in a lawn sprinkler system that can be turned manually. Just be sure to not run over your reticulation when you mow between beds.

If you have fruit trees, you can take five-gallon buckets, drill holes in the bottom, and fill them up next to the trees. The trees will take the water as needed and all you’ll have to do is fill the buckets every so often.

Did you know we are active in multiple cities and suburbs? For example;

 

 

Conclusion

As gardeners, we always worry if we are under-watering our plants. With the potential of root rot or cutting-off needed oxygen, over-watering can be just as deadly. However, a few tips to prevent over-watering in sub-tropic climates can turn a scraggly garden into one that is flourishing.

Composting provides vital nutrients to your growing plants while giving you a way to reduce your trash output each week. Every gardener should consider making or purchasing compost. The plants will thank you! Composting might seem confusing, but it isn’t. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about compost.

What is Compost?
Composting takes materials from your yard and kitchen and turns them into a rich soil amendment. In your designated container, you put the organic matter that will eventually decompose. It is a natural process of recycling materials, such as veggie scraps. Using compost is really part of General garden maintenance. Gardeners don’t refer to compost as “black gold” for no reason!

Benefits of Using Compost
All of the materials that break down to create the compost leaves their nutrients in the compost. Using compost provides your garden plants with nutrients, vitamins, enzymes, and beneficial microbes necessary to thrive.

Other benefits include:
• Enhances the plants’ ability to withstand common diseases.
• Improves the flavor of the fruits, veggies, and herbs.
• Retails soil moisture.
• Reduces your volume of trash.

What Can You Put in a Compost?
You will be surprised at the items you can put into your compost. Chances are you toss these items into your trash can each day.

• Veggie Scraps
• Fruit Scraps
• Eggshells
• Coffee Grounds
• Tea Bags
• Shredded Leaves
• Grass Clippings
• Newspaper

You should never put dairy products and meat into your compost. Certain manures, such as rabbit manure, is an acceptable choice. Cat and dog feces should never go into your compost.

Making Your Compost at Home
Making compost at home is easy! There are several options for containers. Some people build a box with wooden posts or pallets, using metal fencing on the exterior to hold in the soil. Make sure, if you use reticulation, that you don’t hit it with your lawnmower. Retic can damage your lawnmower and weed trimmers.

Once you have your compost bin selected, start by putting a few layers of shredded leaves or grass clippings at the bottom of your compost. Each day, put in your green and brown materials. Consider keeping a small bin in your kitchen, so you only have to make one trip out to your compost bin each day.

You need to turn your compost. Some store-bought composters come in a stand and easily turn. If you make a compost bin, use a shovel to turn the materials over.

Start Composting Now
There is no wrong time to start composting. Remember that you still need to use fertilizer in your garden. Fertilizer feeds the plants, while your compost feeds and replenishes the soil. Both work together for healthy, happy plants.

If you don’t have space for a compost bin, don’t worry! Every garden store sells fantastic options for bagged compost. While homemade compost is free, both still provide the same benefits. Your plants will thank you.

A large variety of herbs can be grown in the Mediterranean climate of Australia with ease. You will be enjoying fresh herbs in typically 20-30 days. Here are five of the most favourite herbs. It’s time to start your garden! If you need help maintaining your garden, we love to help you out. Just visit our page to acquire a quote.

1. Oregano 
Oregano was originally found in Greece and Italy. Oregano treats respiratory and digestive disorders, skin conditions, muscle and joint pain and is delicious with eggs, meats, and Greek and Italian dishes. Oregano is easy to grow in full or partial sun in well-drained soil. Start indoors as a seed, then transplant in the spring outside. Grows to 10-24 inches and is ready to harvest in 11-13 weeks.

2. Parsley
Parsley is packed with nutrients and can be added to many dishes, juiced or used as a garnish. Parsley boosts the immune system, neutralizes bad breath, and has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which assist both digestion and detoxification. Start seeds inside and transplant in the spring every 12-18 inches in partial sun. Parsley can be grown in containers with minimal effort, and after the first year simply cut the stems for the second year.

3. Thyme
Thyme is an excellent source of vitamin A, which benefits skin, hair, eyes, and nails; it is also an anti-inflammatory, with antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Use Thyme in soups, sauces and as a garnish; it has a slightly piney or woody flavor.
Start from seed indoors, and in early spring, transplant outdoors to partial sun. Thyme creates a beautiful ground cover that blocks weeds and attracts bees. Regular snipping enhances growth; stop harvesting before the first frost. Grows 6-12 inches in height and can be harvested in 13-14 weeks. Sandy-type soil improves drainage.

4. Rosemary
Rosemary is a super deterrent for garden pests such as mosquitoes, flying insects, and even cats! Rosemary relieves skin irritations, aids digestion and is a powerful remedy for pain. Drying this herb is very common, and it is delicious either fresh or dried when added to meats and fish of all kinds. Start indoors from clippings. Transplant outside in the spring to an area that has well-drained soil with mulch so roots stay moist in the summer. Full sun is preferred. Grows to 30-60 inches and harvest time is 11-14 weeks.

5. Peppermint or Spearmint


Mint makes a delicious addition to any herb garden and is one of the easiest herbs to grow. One key thing to mint…lots of water! Automation can help with that. It is commonly grown in containers to contain it from overtaking your garden. It enhances deserts and drinks, hot or cold, soothes headaches, clears sinuses, and eases menstrual cramps and IBS. Mint seeds can simply be spread on the ground in full sun with no soil covering to start, and then transplanted to sun and shade.

You may have heard about aeration, but do you know what it is and why it’s important?

Aerating is poking holes or removing small plugs of turf from your lawn in a regular pattern and should be part of your regular . There are several benefits of regular aeration, but only one really good way to do it. We will talk about how to get it done later in this post.

When you aerate your lawn, you leave deep little holes going right down to your lawn’s root system. This allows a way for air, water and fertilizer to get down to the roots where they can do some good. You may even cut down on your watering and fertilizing.

Aeration also helps to break up thatch. It can’t completely solve thatch problems, at least not in most cases, but it churns the soil up just enough to activate microbes that will work to decompose thatch.

How To Tell If Your Lawn Needs To Be Aerated

Does water puddle on your lawn after a rain or watering? This could be a sign of excessive thatch or soil compaction, and it means that you need to aerate. If you want to check your thatch level, grab a shovel and push it down about halfway into your lawn. If you had to put all your weight on the shovel, the soil is too compacted and needs a good aerating.

Now dig a small square. That stuff that looks like dead roots between the grass and soil is actually thatch. If it is thicker than about 1.25 centimeters, you have to take care of it. Start by aerating, and see how that goes. Of course, it would be wise to talk to a lawn professional about excessive thatch.

How To Aerate Your Lawn

Knowing what time of year to aerate and whether to poke holes or remove plugs is critical knowledge. The moisture level of the soil matters too, especially in our dry climate. Aeration is one thing that deserves a call to a professional when you want to have your lawn taken care of.

Your outdoor areas are an extension of your home. Planting trees is one of the ways to make your back yard a more cool and comfortable place to relax in during the scorching Australian summers. The heat itself, however, poses a bit of a problem when trying to get certain trees to thrive in this climate. Knowing what kind of conditions your chosen tree thrives in will help you decide where to plant it for the best results. When landscape designing your garden you have to take these 3 fundamentals into account.

PLANTING IN THE SHADE
Perhaps there is a spot in your yard that is shaded by a structure or, or is positioned to avoid sun that could use some large scale landscaping. There are certainly pros and cons to planting trees in well shaded areas. The good news is that they are able to retain a lot more of their moisture because the intense summer sun won’t be evaporating it. However, there can be problems when it comes to getting enough sunlight for most trees to thrive. For the dimmer parts of your garden, you may want to consider transplanting a fully mature tree that requires a bit more moisture to flourish. That way it is is tall enough to get the little bit of sunlight it needs while using the shade to maintain its internal and external humidity levels.

PLANTING IN PARTIAL SHADE
Partially shaded areas account for a lot of outdoor and yard spaces. Your house, fences, privacy walls and even your neighbours can create barriers that sporadically interfere with sun exposure during different times of the day. These areas leave you plenty of options when it comes the trees you can plant. It will give your tree a balance of moisture retention and sun exposure. Just be sure to know about how much sun that area gets throughout the day. The more you know about your space, the more your landscaper or nursery worker will be able to tell you about your options. When your tree choice is based on your space, you’ll have the best results.

PLANTING IN FULL SUN
These trees often aren’t as visually appealing as options that require more humidity, but they are reliable, hardy, and won’t be a drain on your water resources. Many trees native to Western Australia are able to withstand the intense heat and glaring sun. You may have an empty spot in your garden under the blazing sun that could use a tree, or you might need a tree to create some shade for all the other lovely things you want to plant that can’t quite stand the intense heat. Whatever the case, if you want to plant a tree in full view of the hot sun, it might be wise to think locally and indigenous. This category is often the hardest when designing your garden as trees will add extra shade and you may want to have an “open” feel in your garden. Filling a sunny part of your garden with a tree will give you even more extra shade.

Regardless of how you are constructing your yard or cultivating your open outdoor area, keep in mind that a tree needs more care than just moisture and sun. Pruning for optimal growth is important, as is general inspections of your tree from time to time to look for dead spots and disease. Careful lawn care is also crucial to successful tree growth. Be cautious so as not to damage the reticulation (https://www.thehappygardeners.com.au/services/reticulation-irrigation-system/) , or net like root systems, that many trees have. Something as simple as thrashing your tree’s relic or failing to prune a dead branch can make for a lot more work later on.

What is Reticulation
Any avid gardener understands the importance of keeping their garden healthy and watered all the time. But what if you go away for a holiday or you can’t get home one day and you were supposed to water your plants or even your crops. Well if you don’t have any type of irrigation system, you might end of wasting a lot of hard earned money that you used to buy all of your vegetation. This is not something anybody would want to deal with, especially because you live in a warmer climate here in Perth where it is necessary to water your crops and plants regularly. What’s the solution you might be asking yourself? Well, it’s something called reticulation. People have also referred to it as an irrigation system or garden watering system from time to time.

Enjoy your wine while your lawn is taking a drink as well.

 

How Does it Work?
Simply put, you install a combination of tubes and wires in a specific way which will allow you to water your plants in a much easier way. Water runs through these tubes at specific rates to reach different destinations of your garden at certain times. Holes throughout the tubes allow the water to escape and reach the plants. There are two variations of irrigation system manual and automatic, which can both be installed above or below ground. A manual system is more laboring and each time you’d like to water your plants, you go out and turn the faucet on which would probably be connected through a hose. Once you are satisfied and think the plants have had enough, you turn the faucet off.  You schedule your sprinkler system based on the watering days that Watercorp allows us to.

Watch Out Though
If you aren’t careful, you may end up running over parts of your irrigation system if you aren’t familiar with their placements. This happens mainly while lawn mowing. You may have seen irrigation systems that pop up out of the ground and sprinkle water over people’s lawns. Well, some garden irrigation systems are very similar and constantly protrude from the ground. Be very careful not to hit them with your lawn mower, as you could cause permanent damage to the entire irrigation system. One easy solution as first is tape off your irrigation spouts with bright tape if they don’t automatically retract into the ground. This will allow you to notice them until you are familiar with all of their locations.

Are They Worth It?
If you need something that will help you water your plants on a consistent schedule, a retic system is a great solution. As it requires both plumbing and a sparky, it is easier to hire a The Happy Gardeners to do it for you. Do you need help remembering when to water your plants?

Winter is coming. With a 30 degree celcius day halfway May, you would not expect it. Rain is still shying away, so there is plenty of room left for gardening. Contact us today if you are interested in lawnmowing, edging, weeding, pruning, mulching or General garden cleanups.

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Make an appointment for our gardener to come to your home to discuss your needs. We service Perth NOR. You can also call us at 1300 1212 55 or e-mail us at hello@thehappygardeners.com.au

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