It’s been dry lately. And this affects our soil, and in turn the plants, and they way they perform. Dry weather will cause dry spots in the garden. Here’s where we might find them and signs that show are garden has a dry spot.
In dry weather soils can perform like plants in pots, especially sandy soils. What’s this? When soil in pots dries out it can take a lot of effort, 4 times the amount of water to re-wet the soil. Sand is worse, and some premium garden soils perform the same, like those that contain sawdust in them for example. To get the water back in, we don’t pour huge amounts of water on the soil, quickly, you have to do it slowly, because the soil doesn’t absorb the water quickly when it is dry.
You might be watering your garden but the plants to seem to be
responding. The typical signs are slow growth, the leaves are as shiny
as they should be for that species, the soft stems are drooping, or the worst, the leaf edges are browning off.
What is causing these problems?:
Large trees- large tuckeroos, eucalyptus, camphor laurels etc are taking a lot of the available water in your garden soil. They have an extensive root system and a need for water. Plants within 2m of large trees are slow growing and lacklustre. Nothing you can do except plant plants that don’t need so much water.
Soil:- you might have sections in the garden, which have bad water retention, or don’t absorb water when they are dry. You have to improve the soil by loosening it up and consistently adding organic material to help the soil organisms like worms, improve the soil for you over time.
Rain shadows:- where rain has little contact with the soil because something is sheltering the soil. Palm trees like Golden Canes, do this, as can thick hedges and other plants when the rain is sparse. Also buildings make rain shadows when the are protecting from prevailing rains.