The scorching days are here, and as much as we love laying in the sun on the beach to our heart’s content, the same can be very hard on our plants, and before you know it, your beloved, lush garden is all dry and yellow. There is no doubt the weather has been more and more extreme each year, which can really take a toll on our natural surroundings. Therefore, during these hot days, you should pay extra attention to taking care of your lawn and plants, and here are some tips that will help you do that efficiently.
Pruning is an important step in summer gardening as, if you do it right, you will be able to make the most of your garden. For example, if you have risen bushes, you should prune the flowers when you notice them starting to turn brown, as this will urge the plant to grow new flowers and continue blooming throughout the summer. The same is true for annuals such as petunias – pruning them at the right time will result in a lusher, bushier plant.
Watering is certainly the biggest issue in the summer heat. You don’t want to be wasting water, but you don’t want to see your plants and lawn looking bleak either. Three things that you need to pay attention to when it comes to watering are the frequency, the time and the amount of water you use. If you have some plants in containers, you will need to water those more frequently, possibly as often as every day, since their soil is faster to dry out. As for the rest of your garden, depending on the temperatures, two to three times a week should do.
If you are watering with a hose, avoid getting the leaves of the plants wet to prevent diseases from forming. If you are using a sprinkler, on the other hand, you can’t really do that, so the time of the watering becomes crucial. In that case, the evening or early morning is your best bet. If you have an oddly-shaped garden, get a versatile 9-pattern sprinkler so that you can direct the water exactly where you want to and avoid wasting it. Finally, make sure that you soak the soil just enough – the moisture needs to go deep into the soil for the roots to get enough water before it evaporates.
Something you might not have been doing before but in the summer should definitely consider is mulching. Mulching is the process of covering the soil with a layer of material (the material can greatly vary), which not only helps in keeping weeds from growing, but it also looks neater, and in the summer, it helps with the soil’s water retention. Since it prevents the water from evaporating too fast, you can save time and water if you take this extra step.
If you have a small vegetable garden, you should know that summer is also a great time to plant some vegetables for autumn harvest. Above all, you should know approximately when you can expect the first frost in your area – this will give you information about when it is best to get down to planting. Secondly, you should turn over and fertilize the soil before planting. It is also recommendable to wait about two weeks after removing the previous plants. You can choose from numerous vegetables to plant, such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, spinach, cauliflower, and turnips – these are only some of the examples you can look into if you want to use your green finger to have some fresh produce on your table well into the autumn days.
Some plants take harsh sunlight well, others don’t. If you have some potted plants outside, you might want to look up whether they will be fine or you should perhaps relocate them temporarily. For example, succulents and cacti are known for loving the sun and the warmth, but in extreme temperatures, even their leaves can get sunburnt, which is hard to fix. So think about placing them somewhere where they can enjoy some shade too throughout the day, especially if you notice discolored patches are starting to form on the plants.
Another thing that can help you in protecting some of your plants from the sun is planting sunflowers. They are surprisingly easy to plant, love the sun (obviously), look attractive and will create a much-needed shade for your other plants. They are also not picky about the soil so you can consider them even if a shade is not your concern, but you just want to add a splash of color to your backyard for the summer months.
Depending on your area, summer can really make keeping your garden fresh and healthy rather challenging. If, however, you pay attention to proper watering, pruning, mulching and protecting your plants, you should have no problem enjoying a lovely garden throughout the hottest days of the year. So, keep these tips in mind and get down to your summer gardening endeavors!