One of the major lockdown benefits was being able to tend to our much loved, yet often neglected gardens.
As normal life resumes, with holidays, festivals and parties back on the cards, it’s natural to worry about the changes that your garden will go through after a year of extreme TLC.
Here we have some summer gardening tips so you can maintain your garden’s flourish in the hot weather and welcome back friends for those warm, balmy evenings.
Summer gardening tips – 1. Need for feed
As we’ll have less time for scrupulous watering and care, the best way to instantly breathe some life back into plants suffering in the heat is by providing long-lasting moisture and nutrients.
Most gardeners can appreciate mulching for its weed prevention benefits, eliminating the need for hard work when you’d rather be sipping a cool drink in the shade, as well as offering nutrient-rich organic matter when things get hot.
If you lay down a thick layer, the top few inches of soil where most root activity occurs will be kept moist and cool. This will increase your crop yield if you’re a vegetable gardener, reducing the amount of watering needed no matter what you’re growing.
An item that will increase water retention is vermiculite. This can be found in potting soil or purchased by itself. A miracle product for gardeners, vermiculite increases nutrient retention and aerates the soil, resulting in healthier plants.
2. Protect your pots
Plants in pots are the most vulnerable to drying out. Group them in a shady position, up against a wall or fence for stability, and water thoroughly. This will also help to create a humid microclimate.
You can make your own watering devices for them, too. One stand out summer gardening tip is to simply rinse and fill a wine bottle with water, push in a cork and create a hole going through the entire length of the cork. Insert the wine bottle upside down into the plant and it will be hydrated for up to three days.
It’s a good idea to try out this method the week before you go to see if the water lasts or if you need to add more or larger bottles.
2. Mow smart
Complete two tasks in one by mowing the lawn and using the clippings as mulch.
A light trim of your lawn will help it stay healthy while you’re away. Then leave the clippings on the lawn to add back essential nutrients and hydration.
Alternatively, pile the clippings on beds to provide light shade to the soil. This is particularly useful for vegetable patches, as your veggies will love the extra nitrogen in the grass.
3. Welcoming wildlife
Summer is a great season for wildlife. Animals are out of hibernation and insects are out in full force. This may be irritating for sunbathers, but for green-fingered gardeners, this is ideal.
Wildlife contributes to our garden’s natural ecosystem, helping our plants to bloom and blossom, and as the UK has lost 97 percent of its species-rich meadows since the 1950s, many small animals and insects have been left without a home.
Opting for a “wild” garden can help reverse this trend and save you time on gardening work.
Scatter wildflower seeds over a patch of unused lawn to create a pollen-rich haven for bees, butterflies and insects. Grow climbers like ivy and roses to give year-round cover for birds and relax when it comes to weeds. Plants such as nettles, daisies and buttercups are important sources of food for critters.
4. Welcome back friends
Move your cleaning regime outside this June. Now 30 people are allowed together outdoors, our beloved summer garden parties are back!
Jet washing the furniture and patio is the first step to a sparkling garden hosting area. This removes the worry of ruining your guests’ clothes – the ultimate garden party disaster. When washing the furniture, use the lowest setting to avoid any breakages or nasty splash back. Alternatively, if you don’t fancy forking out for a jet wash, buy a strong jet nozzle for your hose pipe – almost identical results for a fraction of the price.
Find more summer gardening tips and maintenance ideas on our Gardening channel.Last modified: June 14, 2021