With the soaring temperatures set to continue, it’s important to ensure your garden is kept as healthy as possible, and that includes protecting your plants and giving them some extra TLC.
‘Our plants perspire 85 per cent more than we do in hot temperatures, so we need to look after them, just as we do ourselves,’ says David Mitchell, buying manager for horticulture at Wyevale Garden Centres. ‘Raised temperatures reduce the soil’s ability to absorb fertiliser, so be careful what feed you use as granular products can cause lawns to burn.
‘You can also drought-proof plants with an organic fertiliser that contains seaweed, which will enable plants to cope better with drought stress. Adding lots of mulch, such as bark chips, will also provide a barrier to cool the soil and hold moisture.’
Follow David’s top tips for keeping gardens healthy this summer:
1. SUPER SEAWEED
Drought-proof your plants with an organic fertiliser that contains seaweed extracts. Naturally occurring substances in seaweed such as Mannitol and Betaines are known to enable plants to cope better physiologically with drought stress.
2. CHANGE YOUR DIET
Raised temperatures reduce the soil’s ability to absorb the nutrition in fertilisers. Too much fertiliser can have the opposite effect and burn plants. Seek out liquid fertilisers that have improved absorption in high temperatures.
Wyevale Garden Centres
3. GET MOWING
Adjust your mower blade to a higher setting to ensure grass stems provide maximum shade to your soil. Resist the urge to rake the lawn for a perfect finish as cuttings can also provide vital shade. And check mover blades to ensure they give a sharp clean cut to the grass.
4. MORE MULCH
Don’t be shy when it comes to adding extra mulch as it provides a vital barrier to cool the soil and hold moisture. Choose well-composted mulches in hot weather such as bark chips on borders.
5. WATER WISELY
Even a well-established lawn will require watering during increased temperatures. A simple sprinkler is easy to set up, however if you have a large area it is worth investing in a proper irrigation system to ensure equal and efficient distribution of water, ideally with a timer. Timing is important; early morning and late evening are the best times of day to allow water enough time to soak into the soil before the sun’s heat rises and speeds up evaporation and transpiration. Consider an automatic watering system to ensure plants are kept watered while on holiday.
Why not try… Kingfisher Electronic Water Timer, £14.47, Amazon BUY NOW
Getty ImagesGeorge Clerk
6. GET YOUR BUTTS OUT
Invest in a water butt – it’s an eco-friendly way to water your garden and you can also draw from it should a water ban come into play.