4 ways to protect your garden this summer

4 ways to protect your garden this summer

Posted 14th Jun 2019

Despite the miserable weather we've endured this week, this summer is still anticipated to be a scorcher.

While this is undoubtedly great news, it can be less welcome for our gardens - this is an area where it can cause havoc.

To provide you with a helping hand, we've spoken to the experts at The Greenhouse People,  who explain what you can do to ensure your outdoor space is protected when the going gets hot...

1. Watering

As the heatwave take over, hosepipe bans become more common. The good thing is this can prevent you from over-watering your plants – otherwise, rising temperatures lead to them leaching nutrients, and subsequently, prevent oxygen from reaching the roots.

Try using a watering can to give the base of your plant a focussed soak - it allows the roots to benefit as quickly as possible.

On hotter days, you'll be best off watering in the early morning or evening - if it's a plant in a container, you’ll need to water it twice a day, as the soil is likely to dry out a lot quicker in pots.

 You could also think about investing in a water butt to collect rainwater - it would have come in especially handy this week!

2. Plants

Are you planning to add new plants to the garden? Then plant them on a cloudy day and make sure they're sufficiently watered if the weather is warm. You can increase the chances of your plant surviving the heat by using a combination of half mulch, half potting mix.

You could always consider getting some drought-resistant plants for your garden. You could give herbs like rosemary, marjoram and lavender a go, as they all love the heat, creating a more intense flavour and scent during the summer months.

3. Feed need

A great way to reinvigorate plants that are suffering from the heat will be by using long-lasting moisture and rich nutrients.

Many gardeners appreciate the benefit of mulch. Not only does it hinder weeds, but it also cuts out the need for hard work, which is ideal on particularly hot days. It also offers nutrient-rich organic matter to give you a lifeline when things get hot.

Lay down a thick layer - the top few inches will be where most root activity occurs, and subsequently, needs to be kept moist and cool. If you're a vegetable gardener, this will also increase your crop yield, subsequently reducing the amount of watering required, regardless of what you're growing.

An item which could be particularly helpful with water retention is vermiculite. You can either find it in potting soil or be purchased by itself. It's incredibly handy, increasing nutrient retention and aerating the soil, leading to healthier plants.

4. Pastures green

If you're looking to keep your lawn luscious during a heatwave, there's no need to go overboard with your water usage. Instead, if it’s a well-established lawn, it should only need minimal watering in warm temperatures - around once a week will be enough, and at this point, mowing should also drop to once a week too.

Prior to mowing, make sure the blades are sharp, so you can keep it clean cut. Then, adjust the blades to a higher setting to make sure grass stems provide the maximum shade for the soil. After this, leave cuttings instead of raking it up to avoid damaging the lawn and provide some shade.

If the lawn begins to brown and crisp, don't panic - as soon as it rains and temperatures dip, it will begin to recover.

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