Tips for Gardening in the Summer Sun
General Garden Care
With the warmer weather and sunshine, it’s a pleasure to be outside in the garden. Your summer vegetables and flowers will require regular watering, weeding and side dressings of fertiliser to ensure their growth is strong and continuous.
Do small succession plantings of fast growing summer vegetables like dwarf beans, lettuce and radish so you do not have them all cropping at once. For example, plant a couple of lettuce every 2-3 weeks so you have a regular supply. Climbing beans and tomatoes will require training on stakes or trellis sections as they continue to grow.
Pots and Containers
Don’t forget about plants in pots or containers, keep them well watered and remove any weeds. Being in a confined space potted plants can deplete the soil more quickly of nutrients and dry out quickly. Apply side dressings of Daltons Vegetable Fertiliser for potted vegetables and water in well.
For all summer annuals and perennials, apply side dressings of Daltons Premium Rose & Flower Fertiliser. To ensure continuity of flowering, it is worth deadheading your flowers regularly throughout the growing season. With some annuals, cut plants back once or twice during the growing season to encourage healthy new growth and flowering.
Lawns can really suffer in summer, especially if you live in a hotter region. Irrigate at night to reduce the loss of water on hot summer days.
Keep checking plants regularly for insects such as whitefly and aphids as they can quickly sneak into the garden! If they are on plants, spray them with good quality horticultural oil.
Regular mulching is absolutely imperative to help keep your garden lush and healthy during summer. The best mulch is a form of organic matter that is applied as a layer on top of your soil in your garden, around plants, trees, and especially in your pots, to help protect them against the elements and retain moisture. You can purchase bulk or bagged mulch from your local garden centre, like Daltons Mulch and Grow, which is ready to apply straight onto your garden.
Water water water! We’ve put together some top watering tips for summer:
- Regularly check irrigation systems if you have them and make sure all sprinkler heads are operating well and the timer has been set to suit the summer weather.
- Be regular when watering your garden, little and often is best, avoiding the hottest part of the day when plants are heat stressed. Once a day in the early morning or evening up to three times a week should be plenty.
- Use Daltons Coir Fibre Briquettes around the root zone of your plants to improve moisture retention.
- Some plants such as roses do require deep watering to encourage deep root development. So apply extra water to those plant types in the early part of the day.
- Water until it begins to puddle on top of the soil which means the soil has reached its water holding capacity.
- Avoid getting foliage wet as this can promote the spread of disease on plants like tomatoes and roses. Aim for the root zone instead.
- Don’t over water – too much of anything is not good. If there has been plenty of rainfall you will not need to water as regularly.
- With many plants (trees and shrubs particularly), if they are not watered well and regularly over the hotter summer months, they will stop growing.
- Don’t forget about your indoor plants. Increase watering and if necessary reposition plants, avoiding placing them too close to sunny windows.
- If you maintain a consistent watering regime then you can expect excellent results with continued growth through the hot summer months. This is critical when establishing a new garden as you want plants to grow to maturity as soon as possible.