22 May 8 Magic Gardening Tips For Summer 2018
Summer is a great time of year to get out there and enjoy your garden. If you’re itching to pop some gloves on and start work, here are some top secret gardening tips for summer that you might not know about!
Keep your lawn long & fresh
The urge to cut back the spring growth on your lawn will be powerful, but try not to overdo it with your early mowing efforts. Instead, it’s best to leave your mower on the highest setting available.
This approach not only makes sure that the grass stays greener and lusher throughout the hottest months of the year, avoiding unsightly brown patches but also means that you won’t have to mow it as regularly.
If your lawn is looking a little shabby, to begin with, you can bring it back to life with a bit of store-bought feed, or some homemade fertiliser. Poultry manure is particularly good for creating healthier, greener grass, but remember to apply it before rain is forecast to get the best results.
Deal with Garden Pests
There are lots of creepy crawlies which form part of your garden’s ecosystem, and while they can be an annoyance, it’s important to remember that you can’t eradicate them altogether. That being said, there are some things you can do to keep them away from your plants.
One great option is to add a hedgehog house to your garden. These spiky animals can eat a lot of the insects and small creatures that are responsible for tucking into your veg patch. They are happy to munch on slugs, snails, caterpillars, and beetles. Since hedgehog numbers have dwindled in the UK, this is also a great way to help the population grow.
Water! Water! Water!
Your garden needs water to grow and flourish, but different plants require different levels of access to the wet stuff if they are to thrive.
Potted plants should generally be watered once a day during the summer, as they can dry out quickly and have limited reserves of moisture available to them in the soil. Vegetables are similarly thirsty, so if you are growing to produce to eat then it is a good idea to invest in an irrigation system that will keep everything well-watered.
Of course, not every plant is so reliant on regular showers to stay healthy, with some actually suffering if they are exposed too often. Over-watering is an issue that can leave plants weaker and even kill them off altogether, so do your research and plan appropriately.
If a heavy downpour is forecasted, take this into account in your watering activities. This way you’ll get the best results, rain or shine.
Remove Dead Plants & Weeds
Dead plants and weeds are not just unsightly; they create problems in your garden which make them important to remove sooner rather than later.
Check out our ultimate guide to weed control
Weeds grow quickly, invade all areas of your garden and will often muscle out the plants you actually want to grow, leaving them with few resources to survive. It is easiest to remove weeds if the soil is moist, and always best to weed as early in the season as possible, so you can keep coming back over the weeks for brief follow-up bursts to keep them at bay.
Dead plants are just as problematic, but for different reasons. For example, if you leave the head of a flower to wither, wilt and die on the stem, it will become the perfect place for pests to congregate, which will then spread to your healthy plants. By getting rid of plants that have kicked the bucket, you’ll keep your garden looking good and make it easier to maintain in the long run.
Of all the gardening tips in the summer that you should follow, this is the most important of the bunch, but the one which most people overlook.
Setting out a plan of action ahead of time will mean that you can work in the garden in a more targeted, efficient way. Rather than flitting about, doing bits and bobs in different places, come up with a strategic approach to gardening that factors in the jobs you need to do and orders them in the best way to avoid disaster.
For example, weeding and planting should take priority over making aesthetic improvements. You should also plan out your planting so that seeds go into the soil at a time that suits them. Too early or too late, and your efforts will go to waste.
If vegetable growing is something you’ve been keen to master, it might also be worth staggering the planting schedule so that the crop grows in stages. This will mean that you won’t get overwhelmed by a huge harvest that you can’t possibly hope to get through before the veg is past its prime.
Help Pot to Stay Cool
Putting plants in pots is a great way of curating and managing the look of your garden without requiring quite as much maintenance as full-on flower beds. But the smaller size of pots means that the plants they contain are more susceptible to overheating if left in the hot sun.
Terracotta pots are worst for this, but even plastic pots can create a harmful environment at the height of summer. Because of this it is worth putting potted plants in places where they will receive some shade at different times of the day.
Another tip is to stand each pot in a saucer or tray that is topped up with water. This will allow moisture to soak up through the soil and into the roots, without swamping the plant completely or allowing it to dry out in the sunlight.
Leave your clippings to lie where they fall
Raking up all of the clippings you create when you mow the lawn or trim a bush might seem like a natural step to take, especially if you aspire to total neatness in your garden maintenance. But it’s actually helpful to leave your clippings alone and let them turn to mulch in the soil, as this will perpetuate yet more growth and keep everything healthier and greener all summer.
If you are a fan of garden maintenance, summer tips like this will hopefully set you on the right track. Whether you are a newcomer to gardening or an experienced veteran, there is always something to learn.