With the long summer heatwave we’re currently experiencing in the UK, unfortunately our gardens are likely to be suffering whilst we’re building on our tans. To prevent excessive damage, taking precautionary steps and altering your gardening habits is the best option to preserve its health.
Spend less time cutting and pruning
Whilst pruning to allow for new growth is encouraged in cooler months, in extreme heat it can leave your plants more vulnerable to heat damage.
During summer months it is also a good idea to keep grass longer. Not only does it save you a job of mowing your lawn, the longer your grass, the more moisture is retained in the soil. If you do decide to cut your grass, its best to do it in the cooler hours of the morning.
Before cutting make sure the blade on the mower is sharp. For more information on lawn care, read our previous blog.
Protect your potted plants
Potted plants and newly developing flowers need extra TLC and protection than your more developed greenery. Set an area in your garden where you want to create some shade for your delicate plants and if you’re able to, bring smaller ones inside.
Taking these plants out of direct sunlight or creating shaded areas will help to reduce the amount of water lost and prevent dehydration.
Water in the morning
Shallow root plants require more water when they are in direct sunlight. But choosing a suitable time to water is often overlooked. If you water in the morning when the air and ground is cooler, less water will evaporate meaning there’s more to be absorbed by the plant.
Water typically evaporates quicker during midday and in the evening causing the soil to dry out. Believe it or not, watering plants midday can actually scald the plants instead of creating a cooling effect. Remember though, overwatering can cause damage to your plants so keep it at a happy medium.
There are many different mulch materials you can use, but the most popular one to protect your soil is dry grass clippings. If you leave clippings out for a couple days until it turns golden brown, the mulch will help retain the moisture in the soil leaving the plant to require less water to thrive.
With all of that said, remember to also take care of yourself when gardening. Whether you see it as a chore or passion, you should try to work less in extreme heat and have regular breaks.