Nothing kills plants faster than heat and drought so special care needs to be taken to keep them alive during summer. As well as the obvious, there are a few tips and tricks seasoned gardeners use to keep their outside spaces looking lush even on the hottest days.
Here are just a few ways to keep your plants alive during summer.
Water for breakfast
It stands to reason that your plants will need more water than usual during the summer. That is especially true if they are in pots as the roots cannot dig for it. Water once early in the morning before the sun is at full heat to prevent it evaporating too quickly and scorching the plants.
Check pots later in the evening too and moisten the soil if the plant looks thirsty or too dry.
Mulch ado about nothing
Adding a thick layer of mulch can help insulate the ground from the sun’s rays to keep temperatures down and moisture in. Laying mulch in flower beds, over plant roots and even in pots can be very helpful in managing water and temperature. Keep an eye out for bugs as they like mulch too.
Some of the soil here can be sandy, which doesn’t help keep plants watered at all. It can be beneficial to mix in some clay which is very good at holding water. Mix the soil in with clay in potted plants and the slow release from that clay can help keep the plants cool and fed all day long.
Three’s a crowd
Bunching pots together so they provide shade for each other can help keep your plants alive during summer. Taller plants can shade the shorter ones and the sun only heats up the exterior of the cluster, leaving the insides of the pots cooler.
Dead to me
Remove all dead foliage and weeds from your garden just before summer begins. This prevents water loss from transpiration and helps keep them looking better for longer.
While summer is prime growing season, you should consider using less or no fertiliser unless you can control watering. Fertiliser depends on a plentiful water supply to work effectively. If it dries out, it only adds to your problems. So unless you have irrigation or can reliably provide lots of water, avoid fertilising your plants during the hottest months.
If you have trees or buildings that provide shade during the hottest parts of the day, consider moving your pots under it. This will help lower evaporation and prevent the worst scorching. No need to move them back afterwards unless it is completely dark though.
Those are just a few ways to keep your plants alive during summer. Have any tips or tricks you would like to share?