Maintaining Your Garden In The Heat
When the summer hits, the first thing we do is break out the patio furniture, dust off the kid’s old paddling pool and get ready to consume way too much food in a huge family BBQ. The magic of this, however, can be lost if your garden is looking a little, well… dead.
Keeping your garden in tip-top shape can be incredibly tough, leaving even the most experienced green thumb scratching their head and praying for a few slightly more overcast days. If you’re looking to sell your house, you’re likely even more concerned that any potential buyer might be put off by the view of a dry, crusty lawn and an unkempt graveyard of flowers where beautiful blooms once flourished.
Although, there are some things you can do to not only prevent damage but also to act fast when you see those all-important plants and lawns starting to struggle as the mercury creeps up. Here, we’ll let you in on a few secrets that can rescue your garden in a hurry and prevent any unnecessary casualties…
Spot disaster before it happens
The old adage that prevention is better than cure really does apply here too. If you can see that some of your plants are struggling, it’s best to take action quickly before they’re really in trouble. Key things to look for in plants you should focus on are:
- Browning or wilting of tender leaves
- “sunburn” (crunchy, yellow leaves)
- Dry or brittle stems
If you see this occurring in the landscape you’ve worked so hard to create, follow the next steps to troubleshoot your garden care during the searingly hot summer months and get it in great shape and ready for sale.
Don’t forget to water… but at the right time of day
Plants really are smart. They can get used to and come to recognise the time of day that you usually water them, and they act accordingly. With that in mind, you should monitor not only how often you water your plants, but what time you do so. If you’re watering your garden at the peak time of t=day in terms of heat (roughly 11am til 3pm), your plants will come to expect it then, which can lead to them wilting or “flopping” when they don’t get the moisture they were expecting!
Purchase some good-quality, timed sprinklers
There are many good quality, reasonably priced sprinklers available in most homeware stores and garden centres across the UK, so they’re pretty easy to find. Bearing in mind our previous point about monitoring the time of day that you’re watering, we’d recommend one with a timer in particular.
It’s likely that you’re going to have to tackle lots of problem areas in your garden, and by simply getting a timed sprinkler, it takes one small weight off your mind.
Move any pots into the shadier parts of your garden
For the slightly more mobile plants you have in your garden, consider moving them out of direct sunlight to avoid them becoming dry and sunburnt. The direct light can really mess with the soil too, which can be really difficult to recover from unless you’re willing to repot them all.
Spot an area in your garden that seems to be shadiest throughout the day; this is likely to be up against a wall of the house or your fence. Pop the plant pots here and this small task could make a bit difference to whether they manage to survive the heat. Alternatively, if you cannot find the shadiest part of your garden or simply can’t move all of the pots into it, you can easily buy some net curtains to create some shade yourself!
Cover flower beds in mulch
Hard soil can be an absolute nightmare for both experienced gardeners and newbies who’ve never picked up a trowel before. Once the soil is cracked and dry, there’s not much that can be done to it other than wait for rainfall – but often, it’s too late and your wonderful plants are long gone.
One way to prevent to soil becoming unworkable in the first place is to cover it up with a layer of mulch. This not only protects the soil from drying out by being in direct sunlight, it always allows water to seep through. And better still, it’ll act as an insulator and keep that all-important moisture where you need it to be.
Focus on the newest additions to your garden
The smaller, less established plants in your flower beds or pots are likely going to need help more than any others. It can be more difficult to spot issues with them as they’re tiny, but don’t neglect them! Just like a human baby would need extra care, so do young plants (and by young, we mean any that are less than two years old). They need all the water they can get so that they stand to win against the odds and grow – so take special notice of these.
Keep on top of sneaky weeds
Your plants are going to need every single bit of moisture that they could possibly get when water is scarce and it hasn’t rained in weeks. This is where you should be concerned about the arrival of certain unwanted visitors, who are going to sap that moisture away before your blooms have even had a look in, plus they’ll bring any diseases or pests along for the ride with them.
Of course, any healthy garden is devoid of weeds all year round, as much as possible. But it really can be the difference between life or death when your garden is struggling a bit, so it’s best to keep on top of it because it causes you a problem! Grab some weed killer or pluck them right out of the ground.