In hot temperatures, plants perspire over 80 percent more than we humans do. This, coupled with the fact that many areas have been experiencing extreme weather conditions of late, makes it all the more necessary to give your plants extra TLC during the scorching summer months. Neglect could result in the lush, luxuriant growth that makes its presence felt from June to August being harmed by heat stress, pests, dry soil, overgrown weeds or other factors.
Choose the Right Plants
Your summer garden should reflect
a perfect mix of survival, color and scent. Buy plants that are decently sized,
making sure that your planting space is not overcrowded. Cramming would only be
detrimental to the plants’ survival. When possible, choose native plants which
are suitable to your location.
Rosemary, chives, thyme, sedum, marjoram, winter savory, and thyme thrive in sunny and drought-like conditions.
Geranium sanguineum is a hardy geranium that is likely to be in flower for nearly the entire summer with just a bit of deadheading needed. No cutting back is required. It also offers long-lasting color. You could also consider other perennial plants for your summer garden such as verbena, Gaura lindheimeri and hydrangea.
Some flower suggestions for scent include coconut-scented nemesia and lemon-scented pelargoniums. Night phlox, a South African perennial, can be planted in pots placed in groups close to the conservatory or back door.
Plant Care – Water, Food, Shade, Mulch and Pest/Disease Protection
Given below are some pointers worth following to prolong the life of your summer garden:
- Feed your plants regularly throughout the growing season. Organic fertilizer with seaweed in it may assist plants to better deal with drought stress. Liquid fertilizers with higher absorption are good for high temperatures.
- Hydrate your plants smartly. Aim to give your plants one inch (2.5 cm.) of water a week, taking rainfall into account, which is the amount most garden plants need. Do not water on top of the plant but rather on the ground. Water on the leaves could cause disease. Water in the early morning only.
- Spread mulch on the soil to safeguard it from the sun and reduce moisture loss. It can also keep weeds from sprouting in empty ground.
- Mow in the evening and, ideally, ensure that the mower blades are at 3 inches (7.6 cm.) or higher to aid the healthy growth of roots. If you are looking to reduce gardening maintenance time while also benefitting from a professional looking lawn, you can consider artificial grass such as that offered by Easigrass.
- Deadheading the flowers of perennials whenever they begin to fade will help trigger the growth of fresh new flowers. Prune shrubs and tomato suckers. Get rid of the weeds now before they get bigger and spread. Also, get rid of any damaged or diseased debris.
- Pest proof your garden. Research suitable products for the specific insects you have to tackle. Traps are worth trying for flying insects, such as wasps and the Japanese beetle.
- Practice successive planting to get an uninterrupted supply of fresh produce. This simply means planting a set of replacement crops while the ones you planted a few weeks before are still growing.
- Pick ripe and damaged fruits to prevent them taking up too much of the plant’s water.
- Exposure to strong sunlight for many hours can be damaging to your garden plants, so if there’s any area in your garden with such conditions, find some way to provide shade. Consider using a cluster of bamboo, tree or other plant for this.
- Make your garden pollinator-friendly.
Bonus Design Ideas
To go full-on about enjoying your summer garden for longer, here are a few bonus design ideas:
- Consider decorative pebbles of different textures and colors to lend attractiveness to your garden floor beyond just soil.
- Raised beds can be introduced in small spaces to lend height as well as interest.
- Add structure to your garden by positioning pots midway of your borders. For continuity, use the same pot along the entire length of bed. Choose a color that goes well with the rest of the garden.
- Summer-blooming bulbs, though more like a temporary option, are great to add color and glamour to your garden landscape. Some suggestions (go with whatever suits your garden plan) include Zantedeschia, dahlia, cape lily, cannas, peacock flower, Allium christophil, and Nectaroscordum siculum.
- The amazing foliage of cosmea makes it a great summer beauty whether in a vase or in the garden.
- Petunias are a summer flowering annual like cosmea and, if they have a trailing habit, are great for hanging baskets.
Put in the little effort and you can sit back and enjoy a blooming and beautiful garden all summer. You deserve it! f