Wednesday 2 January 2019

Top Tips for Summer Gardening

Happy New Year! Can you believe its 2019!?! And we're starting the year off with beautiful but hot summer months. Summer gardens are an important component in Aussie downtime. Alongside the beautiful weather, it’s also a bountiful season for backyard flora. 

Numerous plants burst into bloom or bear fruit at this time of year, but the hot almost scorching weather can also be tough on plants, so it’s important to take care of the garden and with some careful planning and the right tools, promote healthy growth throughout the summer season.

Here are some top tips and tools for keeping your outdoor space under control and looking good this summer.

Mulch mulch mulch!
A fresh layer of mulch helps to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. In fact, mulch can reduce evaporation from the soil surface by as much as 70 per cent when applied correctly, so it’s a vital ingredient in obtaining a water-wise garden. It can also help to prevent soil erosion and even-out temperature variations.

First, it’s important to give the area a good weed and soak, then spread a 5cm layer of mulch evenly over the soil with Cyclone’s Multi-Purpose Poly Shovel ($49.50). This specialist tool is moulded from a single piece of polypropylene, making it virtually unbreakable and super lightweight to make light work of shifting bulky mulch. Organic mulches such as straw and bark break down over time, helping to nourish and improve the soil. Just avoid placing them too close to the stems of plants to avoid rotting.

Fruitful planning
Deciduous trees that bear summer fruit benefit from a good prune as soon as the crop is harvested. Plants that bear new wood this season, such as peaches and nectarines, are also good candidates for a summer prune. Summer cuts heal quicker, so there’s less chance of disease entering the plant. It also helps promote a bumper crop for the following season, as it gives the plant plenty of time to develop lots of new fruit-producing growth instead.

Start by removing any dead, damaged or diseased limbs. Then tackle any structural flaws like crossing or rubbing limbs and branches that grow inwards. Finally, cut back one third to one half of all growth made since spring. Prune smaller stems with a Cyclone Aluminium Bypass Pruner ($39.98), and easily cut through thicker branches with a Cyclone Compound Bypass Lopper ($49.98) to help avoid damaging the plant, or yourself, in the process.

Prolong perennial colour
Similarly, pruning faded and dead flowers reaps great benefits at this time of year. Summer is the height of perennial colour, with vibrant species like Rudbeckias, Salvias, Phlox and Blanket in bloom. This action of ‘dead-heading’ not only keeps plants looking tidy, it can prolong the flowering of some perennials and encourage another flush of flowers. Simply prune off spent buds with a pair of Cyclone Floral Snips ($13.98). These tools are specifically designed with delicate blades to help avoid cutting any live flowers early.

Ruffle up the roses 
Most of us think of rose pruning as a winter job, but if you want to get the best out of repeat-flowering varieties, such as Autumn Damask or Gypsy Boy roses, then summer pruning is a must. After each flush of flowers simply prune off a third of the growth in a rounded shape using a pair of Cyclone Straight Hedge Shears ($39.98). Yes hedge shears! It’s that easy. The straight blades are perfect precise pruning, while the stem cutter (known as a notched blade) on the shear is ideal for managing larger stems with ease. You’ll be rewarded with another flourish of blooms six to eight weeks later. A great idea is to time your pruning ready for them to re-flower for a special event or garden party.

Improve your soil
Warmer weather is great for giving your compost heap an extra boost. It’s also an environmentally friendly way to recycle the additional kitchen and garden waste we get around the festive season.

Adding compost to your garden beds helps nourish and enrich the soil by encouraging healthy microbial activity, as well as improve its structure, drainage and moisture holding ability. Add a good balance of ‘green’ matter, like vegetable peelings and lawn clippings, and ‘brown’ matter like dry leaves, shredded newspaper and straw to the compost mix.
For the best quality compost turn your heap every three to four days – air is important to the decomposition process and turning re-heats the pile to keep it in an aerobic state, as well as eliminate odours. 
The Cyclone Garden Fork ($59.90) is the best choice for this task, as the tines help create additional passageways for air and moisture in the pile while turning it compared to a spade. The four tines are also forged from a single piece of steel, so they’re super tough and versatile.
Whenever you’re working in the backyard in summer, its important to do hard work when it’s cool – either early in the morning or later in day. By using the right tool for specific jobs, you can also save yourself some serious time and effort.

The Cyclone garden range comes with a lifetime warranty and is available nationwide at Bunnings Warehouse Stores and all good garden and hardware retailers.

Till next time... have a great week and a wonderful year ahead!

About the company
With a prestigious history that extends for more than 100 years, Cyclone has become the most respected name in gardening tools, landscaping and insect screening. They’ve got your back with products suited to a comprehensive range of domestic and commercial tasks. Designed with comfort and quality in mind, Cyclone tools are built tough to last a lifetime.

Big thanks to Tristan Eastaugh, Product Manager at Cyclone for providing the tips to keeping your garden looking beautiful in the summer months.

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