Most of us would try and plant our plants when the weather is cooler, wetter, and generally more comfortable to be out in the elements. During the hot sun work in the garden can be very intensive, hot and backbreaking! In some regions of Australia however, gardeners may not have a choice but to plant during hot weather. Their climates simply do not get much cooler, or when it’s cooler it may be too dry. Often also, when it is cooler, nights may be too cold for plants to settle in well.
Fortunately many plants can successfully thrive, even when planted during hot weather, when you take some simple precaution when you plant them. The first thing you will need to take into account is water. Water may be lacking naturally in the soil already, being a hot, possibly desert type area, and it is crucial to water adequately.
You need to start by digging your planting hole to the appropriate size, nice and big with some organic matter and fertile soil to add back into it. You then need to fill the hole with water. This is a good idea in any climate, but absolutely crucial if your climate is hot and dry! If you are putting the same soil back in the hole, make sure you water this a bit as well so you aren't putting bone dry soil back into the planting hole.
To make the water go further, you could consider adding soil amending elements to your planting hole. Peat Moss and Coco Peat, or other similar things, hold water well and would release it slowly to the roots of the plants. You could add some water saving granules or water crystals to save additional water. Add some of your new soil mixture to the planting hole.
Make sure your plant is also water well before you place it in the hole. Water it well in the pot it is currently in, or, if it has trouble taking up water, place the whole plant, pot and all, in a bucket of water and let it soak. Once the soil of the plant is nice and wet, put the plant with root ball into the hole. Keep watering the hole so it stays nice and wet.
Back-fill the hole evenly around the plants’ root ball. If the water is draining away quickly, keep adding water while you backfill. If the water is forming a pool, reduce the flow of water so it doesn’t run out of the hole. Once you have fully filled up the hole, compress the soil around the plant so it’s nice and steady and cannot move. Movement would break off newly grown roots and stops proper settling in of the plant.
Water the plant in the hole well, and form a well around the plant by building a small wall around the hole. The wall will keep the water you give the plant where it’s needed; right above the root ball. It also gives the water a chance to soak into the right spot without having wasteful run off. Fertiliser will also be delivered to the roots of the plant without waste.
Don’t forget to mulch your newly created walled well thickly, at least 10cm deep, or 4”. You can use anything from grass clippings to sugar cane mulch, hay, straw or anything else that might be available in your area. Keep the mulch away from the trunk a little bit, so the mulch does not rot the trunk of the plant.
Following these simple steps will ensure you are giving your plants the very best start in life.