Summer Gardening Guide

Summer is the growing season for many plants and the flowering season for many annuals and perennials. It is still a perfect time to plant many trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables. During this warm period, watering and mulching is crucial. Early summer is also the beginning of the festive season the time for barbeques, outdoor gatherings and hence the perfect time to have your garden at its best!

Festive Season

An instant improvement to your garden is the addition of flowering plants. We stock a variety of plants and shrubs right through the summer period to add instant colour to your garden.

Potted colour is an easy and inexpensive option to make an average looking garden look great. Other perennial flowering  options include hydrangeas, alstroemeria’s (peruvian and princess lily’s), fuchsias, and calibrachoa’s (million bells). People with less space also have the option of container gardening, i.e. using pots or planter boxes, to give colour to dull areas. Indoor plants such as spathiphyllum’s (peace lily’s), anthurium’s and poinsettias are also flowering and can be used to liven up inside the house.

Chandlers Nursery also stocks a wide range of giftware and for those who would like to buy something special for someone but don’t know what to get them. We also offer gift cards.


The hot summer sun can easily dry and stress plants in the garden, even more so in pots. Watering is the most critical element to keeping your plants alive and healthy as it is the means by which they absorb important nutrients.

The arrival of summer is time to check micro irrigation watering systems to ensure they are adequately watering your plants. Any worn fittings will need to be replaced. It is important to remember that on a hot or windy day, sprinkler systems may be less effective and plants may need to be watered manually. It is important to consider the type of irrigation fittings you use and how effectively they water your plants. For example, for deep watering, dripper heads will be much more effective than spray nozzles.

It is a good idea to prepare your soil for the hot season, as this will mean efficient watering. Adding organic material such as compost improves soil structure and helps retain moisture this is especially important for people with poor soil in their garden. Wetting agents can be added to garden beds and pot plants to prevent water run-off and allow penetration to the roots where plants need it. Mixing water-storage crystals through the soil around the roots of your plants is also a great idea, enabling continued moisture during dry conditions.

Water tips:

  • Water in the late afternoon or early evening to avoid evaporation.

  • It is more beneficial to give your garden a good soaking several times week as opposed to daily light watering this will encourage roots to grow deeper into the soil and improve their drought resilience.

  • If plants do begin to droop from moisture stress, give them a thorough soaking.

  • Water the base of the plants the roots is where the water is needed most. Watering the foliage can encourage mildew and fungal diseases on many plants, so it is best avoided. For larger shrubs and trees, water around the drip line.

  • Watering your plants with seaweed soil conditioners every 2-4 weeks will help your plants build up resistance to heat and drought, as well as pests and diseases.

Weeding and Mulching

Weeding your pots and garden becomes imperative during the summer period as they compete with your plants for valuable moisture and nutrients. Once gardens are weed free it is wise to apply a layer of mulch, this will help to retain moisture and will also help prevent new weeds from growing. It is important to avoid mulching around the trunks and stems of plants as this may cause rotting. We stock a wide variety of mulches including pea straw, sugar cane mulch, lucerne mulch, and pine barks.


As summer is the growing season for many plants, it is important that they have the nutrients necessary for growth. Fertilising throughout summer will ensure maximum growth and will help maintain plant health. There are many different types of fertilisers, depending on your plant’s needs. We stock a wide variety of fertilisers for all plants.

Fertilising tips:

  • Use slow release fertiliser to maintain plants health and help with growth

  • Use a fast release or liquid fertiliser for vigorous growing or nutrient deficient plants

  • Use a ‘flower and fruit’ fertiliser for flowering and fruiting plants

Veggie Gardens

With the onset of summer is the time to plant tomatoes, beans, peas, pumpkins, cucumbers, zucchini, sweet corn, capsicum, chilli, and eggplant. These ideally should be planted in early summer to harvest before the cooler weather arrives at the end of summer. Brassicas such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale and cabbage, are best planted at the end of summer. This is due to lower populations of cabbage moth. If planting brassicas in the warmer weather, it may be necessary to use products such as vegetable dust or dipel to prevent cabbage moth from decimating your crop. Other vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, rocket, celery and carrots can be planted at any time throughout the summer months.

A full range of herbs are available during this period including the popular basil which prefers the warm weather.

Vegetables and herbs can be grown in garden beds or in containers and will perform better if planted in a nutrient rich medium - a premium potting mix if in containers, or a soil rich in compost or manure, if planting in the ground. We stock a wide variety of potting mixes, composts and manures suitable for vegetables and herbs.

Veggie garden tips:

  • Most vegetables and herbs are best planted in areas of full sun

  • Ensure that vegetables are watered regularly, especially seedlings

  • Control pests as soon as they appear

  • Fertilise regularly

Hot Summer Tips

  • Remove dead flowers from perennials, and prune roses after flowering

  • Trim hedging plants

  • Fertilise lawns in early summer

  • Remove weeds

  • Watch out for pests and diseases - treat as required