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  • Oscar Marsland-Roberts

Tips to get your garden ready for the summer



As the days grow longer and temperatures rise, it's the perfect time to prepare your garden for the vibrant months of summer. Whether you're an experienced gardener or a novice, these tips will help ensure your garden thrives during the hottest season of the year. From refreshing your soil to selecting the right plants, here's how to get your garden summer ready.


1. Assess and Clean Up


Inspect Your Garden

Before diving into new planting, take a thorough look at your garden. Remove any debris, dead plants, and weeds. This clean-up not only makes your garden look neat but also prevents pests and diseases from taking hold.


Clean and Sharpen Tools

Ensure your gardening tools are in good condition. Clean, sharpen, and oil tools like pruners, shears, and trowels. Well-maintained tools make gardening tasks easier and more efficient.


2. Refresh the Soil


Add Compost and Mulch

Improve soil fertility by adding compost. Compost enriches the soil with essential nutrients, promoting healthy plant growth. Additionally, apply a layer of mulch around your plants to help retain moisture, regulate soil temperature, and reduce weed growth.


Test Soil pH

Consider testing your your soil's pH level. Most plants thrive in slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH 6.0-7.0). Adjust the pH if necessary by adding lime to raise it or sulfur to lower it.


3. Plan Your Planting


Choose Summer-Appropriate Plants

Select plants that can withstand the summer heat. Drought-tolerant plants like succulents, lavender, and marigolds are excellent choices. Consider native plants that are well-adapted to your local climate.



Group Plants by Water Needs

Planting flowers and vegetables with similar water requirements together makes irrigation more efficient. This method, known as hydrozoning, ensures that each plant receives the appropriate amount of water.


4. Optimise Watering


Install Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation systems deliver water directly to the plant roots, reducing evaporation and conserving water. They're particularly useful during the hot summer months when water conservation is crucial.


Water Early in the Morning

Watering your garden in the early morning reduces water loss due to evaporation and gives plants time to absorb moisture before the heat of the day.


5. Protect Plants from Heat


Use Shade Cloths

For plants sensitive to intense sunlight, consider using shade cloths. These cloths can reduce the amount of direct sunlight and prevent plants from becoming scorched.


Apply Mulch Generously

In addition to improving soil health, mulch acts as an insulating layer, keeping the soil cooler and maintaining moisture levels.



6. Maintain and Monitor


Prune Regularly

Regular pruning helps maintain plant health and encourages new growth. Remove any dead or diseased branches and shape plants to allow better air circulation.


Watch for Pests and Diseases

Summer can bring a host of garden pests and diseases. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of trouble, such as discoloured leaves, holes, or unusual spots. Early detection can prevent widespread damage.


7. Fertilise Appropriately


Use Slow-Release Fertilisers

Slow-release fertilisers provide a steady supply of nutrients throughout the growing season. Apply according to the manufacturer's instructions to avoid over-fertilizing, which can harm plants.


Focus on Organic Options

Organic fertilizers, such as fish emulsion or compost tea, are gentle on plants and the environment. They improve soil structure and promote healthy microbial activity.


8. Prepare for Summer Harvests


Plant Summer Vegetables

If you enjoy growing your own food, now is the time to plant summer vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and zucchini. Ensure they receive plenty of sunlight and regular watering.


Support Climbing Plants

Install stakes, trellises, or cages for climbing plants such as beans and tomatoes. These supports keep plants upright, improve air circulation, and make harvesting easier.



Conclusion

Getting your garden ready for summer involves a combination of preparation, maintenance, and careful planning. By following these tips, you'll create a thriving garden that can withstand the summer heat and provide beauty and bounty throughout the season. With a little effort and attention, your garden will be a vibrant, welcoming space for both you and the local wildlife to enjoy all summer long.

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