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! Some plants, like the houseleek, love the hot and sunny parts of the garden. Others, even those such as the so-called sun-loving roses, can really suffer when it is very hot. 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
Listen to your grass as it grows — you can do this at temperatures of up to 26°C, as these warm temperatures promote the growth of your lawn. On the contrary, if temperatures rise above 30°C, your lawn will hardly grow at all. If the grass is cut too short, it will burn and the soil will dry out. Any amount of watering will not save your lawn at this point. Therefore, it is a good idea to leave an extra few centimeters of length on your grass so that it stands at about five centimeters tall. Leaving a thin layer of grass cuttings can help protect your lawn from too much sunshine. To get these grass cuttings, simply mow your lawn. The best time for this is in the evening. Then simply leave the grass cuttings on your lawn. This keeps the moisture in and acts as a shield against the hot sun. To ensure that the grass cuttings are sufficiently aerated, you can mix in fibrous wood chippings.
If you want to water your lawn, it is better to water in the early morning rather than in the evening. The optimum watering time is between four and eight o'clock in the morning—this is when lawn irrigation has the most impact without the risk of provoking a fungal infestation. If this is a bit early for you, why not let the GARDENA Water Computer MultiControl system help you out by watering your garden automatically for you. Your lawn is sufficiently watered when the top three to four centimeters of soil are soaked with water. An easier way to ensure this is to measure the quantity of water used. 10 to 15 liters of water per sq. m should be about right. However, do not underestimate the risks of overwatering your lawn: Overwatering can lead to mold formation, especially when your lawn is matted and not adequately scarified!
Watering done the right way!
Does a garden need to be watered a little every day? Well actually, no. If you water your garden every two to three days either thoroughly with a GARDENA Classic Hose, or with the GARDENA Pop-up Oscillating Sprinkler, then it should get sufficient moisture. The best solution is to place the hose directly on the plants, and water until the earth is sufficiently damp. If you regularly loosen the soil around your plants, watering becomes more effective. When deciding when is the best time for watering, it is best to avoid the midday hours in which the sun is at its brightest. The best time for watering is in the morning when the soil is not yet too warm and less precious water will evaporate during watering. Be careful not to get water directly on flowers and leaves when watering. Water droplets on leaves act like a magnifying glass and intensify the effect of the sun's rays, often resulting in burnt leaves. Take care with roses too: On roses, wet leaves can lead to mildew and black spot.
Using mulch as a heat shield
That which protects your plant from the cold in the winter has the exact opposite effect in the summer: Mulching protects your plants against intense heat. Spread a layer of three to five centimeters of shredded matter such as straw or bark 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.