After the long and cold winter months, spring is finally here to put a smile on our faces with its breath-taking blossom, where all nature becomes alive again. Spring is the best time to prepare the garden for the hot summer climate, where the weather conditions can bring heat and drought.

The world is currently facing climate change and rising temperatures, which means that summer could arrive sooner this year, as the temperatures will be hotter than usual in spring, playing havoc with the plants.

Now that the weather is getting warmer, it is time to consider some tips for preparing your garden for summer. The good news is that if you prepare in advance, it will remain healthy and alive all season long. Here are some tips that will help you greatly in this process. 

healthy soil
Healthy soil needs essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and micronutrients

Keep in mind to build a healthy soil

The plants’ health in summer depends greatly on the soil, which is why soil is the key element for thriving and happy gardens. Plus, if you have good soil, your job as a gardener will become much easier, as the soil will ensure that the plants’ roots have enough nutrients and moisture.

Firstly, you should figure out what type of soil you have in your garden, as each one has its particular requirements. For example, sandy soils need plenty of fibre to retain moisture, as it often lets the water run away before the plants absorb it.

Composts can also help build health and provide the needed nutrients for the soil. Healthy soil in the garden is imperative as it will retain moisture, and because of this, you will not need to water it as often. 

Practices such as crop rotation and cover cropping help to maintain soil health by reducing erosion, increasing organic matter content, and balancing nutrient levels.

repotting plants
Plants will struggle to grow if there is not enough room for the roots

Repot your plants

During the cool months of the year, you can grow flowers and herbs in plant pots of any size. However, in the hot season, the conditions change, and plants will need a bigger home, as small containers can dry out and heat up very quickly. Plus, plants will grow much slower in small pots, so changing them to something bigger in summer is better.  

The container plants you have in your garden need special attention during the hot months, as they are more vulnerable to inconsistent watering and changes in temperature. These require more frequent watering than the flowers planted directly on the ground, so you must pay more attention to them.

Considering the perfect placement for your outdoor planters is essential. For example, if the containers are getting too much sun, moving them to an area with more shadow might be better. Also, you should pay attention to the plant’s environment, as bricks and reflective surfaces can absorb heat, which can stress your plants. 

dying plant
Unhealthy plants are usually very noticeable

Look for signs that can affect your plant’s health

Healthy plants will always be more likely to cope with excessively high temperatures and the sun’s baking rays, so it is a good idea to look at the signs that could endanger the plant’s health.

This is why you should occasionally inspect your plants for signs of diseases, stress, damaged foliage or pests so that you will take the needed measures to help your plant become healthier again. If you see that your plant has pests, this can show you that it is sick or struggling with adverse environmental factors. Here are some examples that can indicate a stressed or weakened plant:

  • Yellow leaves mean that the plant doesn’t have enough nutrients or that there is either too much or too little moisture.
  • Wilting suggests a lack of moisture and heat stress.
  • Crisp and brown leaves indicate a lack of moisture over an extended period, which can disturb the plant’s proper functioning. 
applying mulch
Applying a layer of mulch can also limit weeds

Apply mulch

If you want to keep the plant roots and soil moist and cool, applying much will be a good idea, as even a thin layer will protect the plant from heat, and the soil will not deal as much with water wastage and evaporation. Mulch can be either organic or non-organic, and it can be utilized both for plants in gardens or for potting mix.

The organic ones have Lucerne, pea straw, sugar cane and bark, improving the soil and making it suitable for fruit trees and veggie patches.

The non-organic mulch can be made of pebbles, gravel, or recycled materials, and it can be used for succulents and cacti or Mediterranean-type plants, such as lavender, olives, and rosemary. 

Putting down a top layer of mulch can help fight weeds. For most gardeners, the back breaking weeding is the most unpleasant job and they steal valuable nutrients and water. Especially when it seems a never ending task. It is essential though, as my mum always says, weed now to save doing it 10 times more in the future.

water butt in garden
Consider putting a water butt on your downpipe to gather excess rainwater

Water right

Watering your plants wisely is one of the best tips you can follow to ensure your summer garden’s success. In summer, plants dry up more quickly, and this is why you should maintain a routine of watering depending on your plants’ needs so that the soil will benefit from enough nutrients and moisture.

It is always better to water your plants during the cool moments of the day, like early in the morning or late in the evening, to reduce the chances of water evaporation. You can set up a timed sprinkler system for this.

But don’t forget that overwatering your indoor plants can do more harm than good, as it can lead to root rot, where the soil will not have the needed conditions and oxygen, which could encourage the growth of soil pathogens. So, it will be better to check the soil first, and if it is moist, it will be a good idea to wait a day or two more until you water it again. 

Other summer gardening tips:

  • It would be great to move the indoor plants from the window to avoid burning foliage.
  • On days of extreme heat, move the outdoor plants to a cooler location.
  • It would be good to use shade cloth for the garden plants to cover the sun and heat-sensitive plants.
  • Lawn care is essential, including regular mowing and aeration.

We hope this article offers you the tips you need so that your garden will thrive in the hot climate, ensuring you still have your relaxing outdoor sanctuary.

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