Protecting Your Plants from the Heat

Story: Protecting Your Plants from the Heat
Episode: 2
Presenter: Sue McDougall
Air Date: 6 March 2021

Autumn acts as nature's natural planting and recovery period. Sue gives her top tips on how to tend to your garden this season.

  • Autumn is a good time to observe the microclimate of your garden. This will help improve its wellbeing and ensure it’s well equipped to cope with summer.
  • It's important to know how much heat stress your garden is under. To test this, place a thermometer onto a concrete surface and check its reading.
  • Natural shade is crucial in any garden. You must ensure that there is a balance between sun-exposed areas and shade-covered areas.
  • The strategic placement of trees in a garden makes a major difference to its microclimate and what species of plants can be planted in it.
  • Plant trees on the west side of the garden to protect it from the intense heat and sun exposure generated by the hot afternoon sun.
  • Deciduous trees are ideal for creating shaded areas. Their thick foliage creates a canopy of shade to protect delicate plants underneath.
  • Over the next 6 weeks, as the deciduous trees prepare for leaf drop, do not throw away the dropped leaves because they are rich sources of nutrients.
  • The dropped leaves can be left on the ground as mulch, or they can be used as a key ingredient in the compost bin to make rich humus.
  • The addition of Seasol will speed up the natural decomposition of the leaves, enabling nutrients to be recycled back into your garden.