Summer is the hottest season of the year and, depending upon where you live, your plants might struggle to survive in scorching conditions.
We’ve got a solution – 8 summer gardening tips to give them the kiss of life!
The thing is…
Depending on where you live, summer temperatures may vary from pleasantly warm to unbearably hot. In some areas, the hot summer temperatures are often accompanied by strong winds and violent thunderstorms.
So without further ado here are 8 simple summer gardening tips to help you keep your garden plants healthy throughout the summer:
#1 Don’t Leave Your Plants Thirsty!
Most areas receive little or no rainfall during summer. The scarcity of rain coupled with the hot temperatures can lead to dehydration in garden crops. Potted plants will fare even worse since the soil in containers tends to dry up faster compared to that on the ground.
A simple test for moisture content can be done by scooping a handful of soil from the ground, placing it on your palm and squeezing the sample tightly by clenching your fist.
Unclench your fist after five seconds. If the sample retains its shape, the soil has enough moisture. If the sample remains loose, it will mean that the soil in your garden is too dry to sustain plant growth. Drooping leaves and stems are also signs of acute dehydration in plants.
Here’s the secret:
During summer, it is advisable to irrigate your garden early in the morning when the ground is still cool.
Watering your garden during the day when the ground is already hot can scald roots below the ground.
Watering late in the evening is also a bad idea since water will cling onto the plants all through the night instead of evaporating.
Wet foliage will encourage the growth of mold and mildew and create a whole new problem altogether.
Adding a layer of mulch around your plants is a good way to protect them from the scorching daytime heat.
To lay it bare:
Mulching insulates the soil from direct sunlight and this helps to keep your plants cool while also reducing water evaporation from the ground. In addition to this, mulching will also discourage weeds from growing in your garden.
The best mulching materials comprise of dead organic matter. These include dead leaves, grass clippings and saw dust.
Most garden crops tend to bloom during spring season. By the time summer arrives, there will be plenty of spent flower heads and leaves using up precious resources but adding no value to the plant.
Removing such parts will lift the extra burden off your plants and ensure that all their energy is being spent on sustaining the living parts.
Not only that:
In addition to pruning your crops, it is also advisable to harvest all fruits from your garden as soon as they ripen.
Just like spent parts, fruits will continue to drain water and nutrients from the plant even after they ripen.
Besides, letting fruits ripen excessively until they start to go bad defeats the whole purpose of backyard gardening.
#4 Become a Killer – A Weed Killer!
Your plants are already under a lot of stress trying to cope with the extreme summer heat. The last thing they need is the additional stress of having to compete with invasive weeds for limited resources such as nutrients and water.
The easiest way of dealing with weeds is by uprooting them as soon as they appear. Mulching will also effectively get rid of weeds by starving them of the air and sunlight they need to germinate.
Prevention is always better than cure. If you are looking forward to a hot summer, you can plan for this in advance by growing crops which thrive under hot conditions. This will ensure that you get a good harvest without putting in much effort.
Crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers, melons and corn will do well even in extremely hot summer temperatures with minimal care.
#6 Place Your Pot Plants in Clusters
If you have several potted plants in your garden, placing them very close to each other in tight clusters can increase their chances of survival.
When doing this, ensure that you place the smallest plants at the center before positioning the larger ones around them.
Here’s the interesting thing:
Small plants are more likely to perish as a result of extreme weather so larger plants will provide a shade for the smaller ones while also shielding them against strong dry winds.
#7 Bask in the Shade!
A garden shade is arguably the most effective way to keep your plants safe during the hot summer. Besides providing your plants with a shelter against the sun, a garden shade will also protect your plants against hail, heavy rainfall, strong winds and pests.
Here’s the next step:
The ideal summer garden design for a shade will depend on the size of your garden, your budget and whether you plan to continue using it after the summer season.
A simple shade for a small garden can be made by propping a sheet of translucent material over the plants you want to protect. Translucent material made from fabric or polythene will let in enough light to keep the plant healthy while reflecting excessive heat.
A larger garden might require a more elaborate shade design. In such cases, you can consult a gardening expert to help you come up with an appropriate plan for your garden shade.
#8 Use Your House as a Sun Block!
Potted plants can be easier to manage during summer because they can be moved with minimal effort to a cooler location when the temperature gets too hot. Your house can act as an effective barrier to block out the scorching sunlight.
Move your potted plants next to the east-facing side of your house. This way, they will be able to receive enough sunlight during the morning hours as the sun rises.
Later in the day as the sun gets hotter, your house will cast a shade on them and help to keep them cool.
So there we go – 8 simple gardening tips for the summer. Try doing some of these and your plants should thrive in the warmer summer months
Want to learn more about gardening in the summer? You can find further information here:
Steve is a one time gardening hater turned into gardening obsessive. This was all thanks to going to University where a two year stint spent transforming the previously horrific garden of the student house he lived in left him addicted to all things horticultural! Now with a new house in tow and due to some fortunate circumstances he is free to test out a whole host of gardening equipment. Find out more about Steve or drop him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.