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Protecting your plants from the heat

Garden Life
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Things are heating up! When the sun is high in the sky and there isn't a cloud to be seen, it is the best time of year for us, but not necessarily for our plants! With a few simple tricks, you can protect your plants from the high seasonal temperatures and keep them healthy all summer long.

Protecting your lawn

We have a tendency to focus all our irrigation efforts on our flower and vegetable gardens and sometimes tend to forget that grass is also a plant albeit a resilient one. Subject your lawn to an extensive period without proper watering though and it will remind you of its vulnerability by turning a sad shade of yellow.

During lengthy periods in which Mother Nature is not fully taking care of the irrigation with intermittent rain shower, we must step in. The best way to do so is armed with a water computer, a good quality hose and the perfect sprinkler for the shape of our lawn.

A GARDENA Water Computer lets you set and forget which comes in handy considering the fact that the ideal time to water is very early in the morning to avoid the risk of fungal disease and evaporation loss. If you are worried that you will end up wasting precious water by irrigating on a rainy morning then adding a GARDENA Rain Sensor will solve this problem. It will ensure that all irrigation stops as soon as the rain drops start to fall.  

If you are in doubt as to whether your grass needs watering, here is a trick. Take a firm step on your lawn and remove your foot. Do the blades bounce back up or do they remain laying flat? If flat, it is time to pull out the sprinkler and let the water drops do their magic. Letting a GARDENA Soil Moisture Sensor gauge the need for watering can also take the guess work out of irrigation. Connect it to your water computer and let the pair worry about when to water. 
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Watering done the right way!

Does a garden need to be watered a little every day? Surprisingly the answer is no. Both lawns and gardens benefit much more from less frequent, deeper watering sessions. This brings the water deep down below the surface encouraging the roots to grow deep in the soil to find it.  Once down there, the root system will be better positioned to survive any future dry spells.

Sprinklers are great for lawns and GARDENA has designed sprinklers to suit all shaped lawns; rectangular, circular, square and now even any shaped curves. For flower beds, vegetable patches and pots, hand watering is best since it allows you to manage the exact angle of the water spray. Point your water flow towards the base of the plants not directly on flowers and leaves since, on extremely hot days, water droplets on leaves act like magnifying glasses. This intensifies the effect of the sun's rays, often burning your delicate leaves. Take care with roses too: On roses, wet leaves can lead to mildew and black spot.
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Using mulch as a heat shield

Mulching protects your plants against intense heat. Spread a layer of three to five centimetres of shredded matter such as straw, sugar cane mulch or eucalyptus chips over the entire garden area, or just around specific individual plants. A thin layer of grass cuttings can also be spread over garden area as long as they do not contain grass or weed seeds. Mulch also protects bed soil from powerful sunlight, preventing it from quickly drying out.

Protecting young vegetable plants

You need to take extra care with plants that have recently been planted. Ensure that the soil is always sufficiently damp. It should never be completely dry. If necessary, you can place a water ring round each plant and fill this with water every day. A tried and tested method of watering tomato plants is to place a plant pot made of plastic or, even better, of clay with a diameter of 13 to 15 cm in the ground right next to the plant and fill this with water twice a day. When the weather is windy and hot, give sensitive plants extra protection with a horticultural fleece.

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Give a Weeper Hose a try

Weeper Hoses are ideal for hedges and vegetable plant rows especially when you have low water pressure. The gentle drips do not cause damage and therefore are ideal for fragile plants and in the case of the GARDENA Weeper Hose result in a 70% water saving, perfect in areas where water restrictions apply.

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