10 tips for your garden in summertime
During spring or summer, temperatures may rise to tropical standards, even in our country. Not all plants can handle such heat, so here are our ten tips on how to keep your garden fresh and colourful, even on hot sunny days.
1. Forewarned is forearmed...
Take measures when a heatwave is forecast. Make sure your plants have had access to sufficient water, stop giving granulated fertilizers and keep shadow covers at hand. A heatwave occurs when temperatures reach 25° Celsius (or over) for at least five days at a stretch.
On warm and dry days water your plants in the evening, preferably after sunset, since water quickly evaporates during bright and sunny weather. By watering in the evening your plants can absorb moist during the night. Water at their feet, not on their leaves, for some plants easily develop mildew or mould when leaves stay moist for a prolonged period of time.
3. Watering the lawn
In order to keep it nice and green, it's probably necessary to water your lawn during warm, dry weather. Watering a lot at one go is much better than watering often but sparingly. During dry spells watering once a week is more than enough, preferably at evening time.
4. Mowing the lawn
Do not let your lawn dry out by mowing it too short. Adjust the lawn-mower knives to 4 centimeters and don't mow more than once a week, either in the early morning or (late) in the evening, when sunrays are not yet (or no longer) fierce.
5. Protect potplants
Depending on materials used, potted plants can get overheated quite quickly. Especially black plastic pots absorb heat easily, causing plant roots to burn. Root-systems stay cooler by placing plants in terracotta pots during the warmest hours of the day. Since terracotta pots breathe and absorb moist you'll have to water more often during warm, dry spells. In winter these pots can easily break due to temperatures below 0 °C, so protect them from frost. Check your potted plants and hanging baskets on their need for water twice daily. Place pots with drainage holes on saucers and pour water there.
6. Shadow covers
Do you grow hydrangeas in your garden (Hydrangea macrophylla)? Their leaves will limp during warm days. Cover them with a large, light cloth or sheet (resting on canes) or put a parasol over them, offering shade. Put up shadow covers in your greenhouse or whitewash windowpanes to prevent extremely high temperatures. In summer always aerate your greenhouse by opening a window and/or door, both during the day and night.
7. Soil protection
Mulching helps prevent soil from drying out. Mulch layers retain moist, discourage weeds to grow and, in time, improve soil structure. Mulch by scattering a layer of woodchips or dried grass between your plants. Also scatter a thin layer on kitchen-garden beds where you have sown seeds but nothing as yet grows.
8. Use fertilizers with great care
Is it time to give your plants their summer feed? Be very careful indeed when using granulated fertilizers, which hardly dissolve during warm and dry spells. Generally speaking, liquid fertilizers are easiest to use as you need to add water, but do use them sparingly. Something you can offer your plants unrestrictedly is B’cuzz Silic Boost, which strengthens the protective layers on plant leaves, so moist hardly evaporates during heat. It also helps to strengthen plant stems, making them sturdy and less likely to flop.
9. Don't prune!
Please wait for cloudy days before you prune evergreens such as Choisya ternata and box, because fierce sunshine can burn their leaves.
10. Enjoy fine weather in your garden
Often on warm summer days you can pick and harvest all kinds of lovely fruit and veg: currants, apples, pears and lettuce, various sorts of vegetables, herbs and even edible flowers such as marigold, borage and lavender, as well as cut flowers! If you gave your plants and trees a rich feed in spring, like bloombastic, your garden will have responded by rich harvests this summer.
A nice shady spot
There's nothing to pick or harvest just yet? Bring out your deck-chair and enjoy the beautiful weather, an ice-cold drink at hand! Too hot to sit in the sun? Remember next winter to plant a plane-tree (its leafage trimmed to a shady ''roof'') or any other tree to sit under; shade from garden umbrellas and sunshades is fine as such, but shade from trees offers just a few degrees more cool!
Tip: put some red currants and edible flowers in a ice cube tray, pour water over them and freeze. Serve drinks tinkling with these refreshing, flowery and fruity icecubes ''from your own garden''!