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WITH this summer set to be hotter than usual, avid gardening enthusiasts might be a bit worried about their green space.
Luckily, offering a helping hand in order for all your hard work to not go to waste, one whizz revealed a few simple tips.
According to Fiona Jenkins, a gardening expert at MyJobQuote, there are six things to keep in mind when trying to protect your lawn and green space in the hot weather – and a lot of it comes down to watering at the right time.
WHEN AND HOW OFTEN TO WATER
With the temperatures soaring, plants tend to become more sensitive and even something as simple as watering will
require a bit more effort.
Most of us would assume that in dry weather, the more water, the better would be the right way to go.
However, don't rush to grab your gardening hose just yet – too much water can, in fact, harm your plants.
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''Overwatering causes your plants to feel stress, something your plant will already be under thanks to the hot temperatures.
''Instead, give plants the normal amount of water you would give them and try not to “overcompensate” and water them more than necessary.''
In addition, the expert added, it's best to avoid watering during the day, especially at lunchtime when the sun is at its hottest.
Where possible, water your plants early in the morning or the evening.
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More beneficial than regular tap water, rainwater contains all the necessary minerals required for your plants to grow and thrive.
''If you already have a water butt installed, then you should especially utilise this during the hot weather.
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''If you don’t have any rainwater collected at this point, then not to worry, you can use this time to install this.
''As a rule of thumb, a water butt is much easier to install when the weather is dry and there’s no rainwater left in the pipes.''
HYDRATE THE SOIL
Although it might feel tempting to go heavy with watering your plants and soil, it's best to to not go overboard.
To avoid doing this, Fiona said, there are simple additions that will not only prevent moisture loss in the soil but also increase water retention.
''Mulch is one of the most effective ways to prevent moisture loss and reduce the need for watering, making it perfect for warmer weather,'' the whizz recommended.
''Vermiculite is also a good use for soil.
''Either purchased separately or found in certain potting soils, vermiculite increases nutrient retention and aerates the soil, meaning plants keep healthy.''
HELP YOUR LAWN THRIVE
Just as plants, your lawn also shouldn't be overwatered during the hot weather.
Fiona advised to water just once a week – this should be enough to keep the greenery healthy.
However, it turns out, mowing also affects your lawn – and as much as you might want a short trim, it's probably best to give your lawnmower a little rest.
''Longer grass strands can provide shading, helping the soil retain its moisture and reducing the need for frequent watering.
''Typically, you should keep your grass to a minimum length of three inches, but in particularly extreme heat then you should have your grass closer to six inches.''
It's not just our delicate skin that can burn basking in the hot sun – plants often suffer too.
''Reducing the amount of bright, direct sunlight and heat that plants receive results in cooler soil that retains moisture,'' explained Fiona.
Luckily, whilst plants might not enjoy being covered with a thick layer of SPF sun cream, there are multiple ways to create shade in the garden.
For example, you can grab a bedsheet to cover over plants or use a beach umbrella as a shield to block the sun.
''If your plants are potted and easy to move, then you should relocate them to a naturally shadier part of your garden.''
Although homeowners might be more concerned about their garden, it’s not just plants that can suffer during the warmer days – the wildlife and insects do too.
''Extreme heat can be difficult for wildlife and pollinators, so keep them in mind when heatwave-proofing your garden,'' said Fiona.
If possible, get a birdbath – and it doesn't need to be expensive or extravagant.
Not only will it provide a place for birds to bathe and cool down but will also keep them hydrated.
In fact, a simple container placed up and away from people works like a charm too.
For those who have a pond in their garden, it's worth keeping an eye out on the water level.
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''Ponds naturally encourage wildlife, such as hedgehogs, to drink from, so when the levels are low you risk wildlife getting stuck trying to reach the water levels.
''Avoid this by simply keeping your pond topped up and clean.''
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