Summer is here and so is the time to pep up your garden into your favourite space at home. Start preparing your garden for summers, be proactive, plan and prepare well to give your garden a fragrant dazzling display!
Excessive heat can be a source of stress for plants, particularly the home garden varieties, and cause plants to dry up or wither. There’s plenty you can do in advance, and during the heat wave to make sure your plants survive the heat.
Plant Summer Flowering Shrubs
Flowering plants will help add some colour to a summer garden. Zinnia, bougainvillea, marigold and roses are some of the blooms that will keep your garden lively through the heat. Planting bulbs in early spring will assure you a great show of colours during hot summers. The best part is, they are low maintenance and love full sunlight and give out vibrant colourful blooms. Petunias and Perennials like Aster, Zinnias, and Chrysanthemums love hot sun. Choose fragrant flowering plants that love sun, especially Mogra, Jasmine and Jai-juhi, all night blooming Jasmines love sun. Plants with fleshy leaves and succulents grow well even in the hottest climates and require less watering, so choose those plants.
Use Space Wisely
Most of the space in large containers of tall plants and trees goes waste. And looking at this scientifically, the more the exposure area of the container the faster the water dries off. Put low roots and sideways spreading space covers or flowering creepers, and see the beauty of a blanket of flowers at the base of your large trees and widemouthed containers. This helps to slow down evaporation of water from containers, conserve soil moisture and keeps your plants fresh for longer hours.
Feed them Well
Summer is not the time to add fertilisers of any sort to your plants specially to those kept in shades. Every plant has different needs and plants kept in shades do not get enough sunlight to burn this off and may rot or die. More so, with delicate small plants and flowering bushes, many die off if given fertiliser during summer. You can add very mild nutrients like dissolving fertilisers to give strength to your plants. This protects from pests and insects and also improves blooming.
Trim them Wisely
Cutting trees that give shades to the other plants is not advisable during summers. While trimming does encourage flowering and fruiting, trim only dead, dried parts and leaves so that the plant can conserve energy and not waste on dead, huge stems.
Water Well and Water Deeply
Excessive heat can cause plants to wither. Give your plants a deep watering – if you water too quickly or not enough, often just the top of the soil gets wet and the rest escapes down the sides of your pot and out the bottom. Make sure the water is actually absorbed by watering slowly, and allowing the plant to soak up excess water in a bowl. If your garden plants are in full sunlight and are exposed to many hours of direct sunlight, keep them well watered.
Sprinklers help to remove dust from the leaves and this keeps them fresh and green to breathe and make food. Before you turn on the sprinkler, check to see if the soil is moist under the surface. Wait till the soil is somewhat drier, or simply sprinkle water on the leaves and branches.
- Always water in early morning or late afternoon as this gives plants time to absorb the water. During very hot weather, the water evaporates from the surface of the pot and the roots remain thirsty.
- Before you turn on the sprinkler, check to see if the soil is moist under the surface. Wait till the soil is somewhat drier, or simply sprinkle water on the leaves and branches.
Give your plants a fresh cool drink. During afternoon, the tap water is very hot. Plants wilt, burn and sometimes die off when the water they get is of high temperature. It is advisable to keep the pipes or sprinkler cans in shade after use so they are not hot when you next water your plants.
Help your plants to stay cool! Fix soil for humidity levels, conserve moisture with low weeds, shredded mulch, and dried leaves. This is better than rocks and pebbles as rock surfaces get hot and reflect heat to the plant. Wood chips, shredded bark, mulch is good to keep moisture, but high level of mulch will form a hard crust preventing water seeping in to the roots.
Pep it Up
Energise your garden with some spectacular foliage and grasses. Ornamental grasses not only add colour but also keep your garden cool. They also add a dramatic appearance to your garden. Palms and tall sized trees protect from direct sunlight and harsh UV rays. Even if you love the fresh energy of open terrace gardens, during summers, installing an awning or temporary shade with net material will help in protecting your precious plants from wilting and drying. There are so many unique attractive Canopies, Patio Parasols, Garden Umbrellas that can be easily folded and used whenever required.
This summer, make your garden a welcoming one with happiness overflowing!