Seasonal Garden Info for Summer

  • Summer is heating up and all the insects and pests are out in full. To keep your plants and crops healthy and productive, they need a feed with a good fertiliser. There are lots of different products available for general watering, veggies or your flower garden. Fertilisers containing seaweed are known for their ability to help plants repel pests and disease, however pest control in your vegetable garden may require additional fungal, insect and fly sprays or dust. Don’t leave your fertilisers or sprays out in the sun as it reduces their ability to work.
  • At this time of year I can not over emphasis the need to keep your garden and lawn moist. However remember over the coming months water may become scarce. Harvesting rainwater from the summer showers is a great way of increasing your water supply. There are many rainwater collection systems commercially available however simply positioning a large bucket under your guttering outlet is the most basic way to start collecting!
  • Water deprived plants will show signs of wilting, poor fruit development and more susceptible to pest and diseases. Consistent watering is the goal, less often but more thoroughly. Plants need a good soak when watering, give them enough water to go past the top layers of soil and soak down to their roots. Watering early in the morning or evening is the best time as in the heat of the day water evaporates quicker.
  • If you don’t have time to do this by hand then sprinkler systems can be useful, but always check that they’re doing the job. Dig a little into the soil to see how far the water has penetrated and also this will help you calculate how long you need the sprinkler in each position.
  • Mulching is another way to conserve water. This involves using natural materials to cover the soil in and around your plants. This is then dug back into the soil when preparing the soil for next season. The main functions of mulches are the conservation of soil moisture and the moderation of soil temperature. They moderate internal soil temperatures by retaining heat from the day and radiating it to the soil at night. Mulches are used to block evaporation of water from the soil, slowing down soil drying. They also help control the growth of weeds, blocking sunlight and/or smothering weed seedlings under layers of material. There are many different types of mulch from simple grass clippings, wood shavings or fallen leaves to applying compost the same as if you were preparing.
  • Mowing height adjustment is probably the most important practice to prepare lawns for hot weather. Lawns maintained at higher heights usually develop deeper roots and dry out slower than closely mowed turf. Lawn growth will slow as the weather gets drier and hotter. Grass should look green, even after mowing. Scalping the grass damages its roots and encourages weeds. In hot, dry weather, leave off the catcher, so clippings mulch the lawn.

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