Happy New Year and welcome to a very HOT January.
By now, your summer garden will be growing at a rate of knots. Interestingly, I have noticed that the weather pattern this summer is about a month behind compared to last year. December last year was beyond hot and many people struggled to keep up with the growth, maintenance and watering of their summer garden. People on tank water were struggling with enough water for themselves, let alone their plants and, in turn, the plants suffered.
This season’s December had a lot of weather extremes, with the biggest lightning storm I have ever seen, intense tropical rain, flooding, hailstones the size of peas, snow and wind. Phew! That kind of weather can cause tricky things to happen in the garden, like early blight, stunted or slow growth, black aphids, plant damage and no drying time for garlic.
Now let’s look at the positives this weather pattern has brought to our gardens.
The rain has enabled our soil to harness enough water to give our young seedlings sufficient moisture to their root systems, enabling good growth. It has enabled us to mulch our soil while it is still moist. And it has filled our water and garden tanks to the brim – I have so much gratitude for this. Also the rain has prevented many pest eggs hatching and made the laying of such eggs difficult – keeping pests down in a natural way.
The heat has enabled our plants to grow quickly, especially the tomatoes and chillis. It has enabled fruit to form without blossom end rot.
The huge electrical storm was very beneficial for our gardens, as it creates oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere and lands on our gardens as nitrates. After this occurs, you will see greener and more colourful growth.
The wind has kept pests at bay preventing them from landing and laying eggs on our plants, in turn, creating less infestations. In particular, well-ventilated citrus will have less white fly eggs this year, in stark contrast to the huge infestations of last year. The wind also keeps the humidity down, which is perfect for growing tomatoes free from blight and the zucchinis and pumpkins free from the fungus of powdery mildew.
For those of you who had snow, this may not have been beneficial for all your plants however, it would have been beneficial to kill off that first hatching of pests and disease.
I find it is always good to look for the positives in the weather and get prepared for all eventualities.
Remember after a bad spell of weather, it is always good to give your plants a feed of Effective Microorganisms, Liquid Kelp and worm juice. These will all aid in a healthy cell structure and repair any damaged caused by these weather extremes.
I have an exciting competition coming up, as I’m back for the new year and raring to Grow Inspired, so sign up to my newsletter to find out more.