WITH soaring temperatures your garden may look as if it has had better days and you may be tempted to try and fix it.
Just be sure to avoid these ten mistakes, that gardening experts are saying pretty much everyone makes at some point in their gardening attempts.
Speaking to Homes and Gardens, gardening experts revealed ten things that you should never do to your garden in hot weather.
Keeping flower pots in direct sunlight
While in less scorching temperatures you may keep your flower pots in direct sunlight, as soon as a heatwave comes over you should move these into a shadier spot until the weather cools down.
Keeping your flowers in the hot sun can cause the leaves to brown and the flowers to fall off, which will leave your garden looking somewhat dead and sparse.
Mowing the lawn
If you know hot weather is on the way then be sure to mow your lawn before it arrives.
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But if it arrives suddenly then you may be better off leaving this task until after the heatwave passes than to mow your lawn while temperatures are high.
Chris Mcilroy, lawn expert at The Grass People says: “A medium term heatwave can kill off your lawn or put it into a high state of stress where the grass turns yellow but will recover over time. But if it becomes straw-like, it’s dead.”
Mowing it while in this state can add stress and either kill or lead to an even longer recovery time before your grass is looking green again.
Planting new flowers
When the heat makes your garden look dry and tired, you may be tempted to use this as an opportunity to add some new plants, but according to the experts this would be a mistake.
Plants should actually be planted in cooler temperatures, as digging soil in hotter periods can cause it to lose water – meaning that if you do plant anything during a heatwave it may not actually grow.
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Watering at wrong time
Any budding gardener knows the importance of watering plants, but they may not know exactly when the best time to water, especially during a hot weather spell.
Nikki Hollier, founder of Border in a Box, says: “Water plants in the morning before it gets hot. Keep an eye on smaller pots in particular as they can dry out quickly in the heat and may need watered more often. And water the soil, not the leaves.”
Flooding the lawn
While the heat may make your lawn appear dried out and straw-like, it’s still important to now overwater your grass.
“It’s a good idea to water the grass once a week if it’s not raining, but be careful not to flood the grass,” says Chris Mcilroy, “in extreme summer heat, a good guide is 5 gallons of water a week for every 1 square yard of lawn.”
Hosepipes and sprinklers may seem like a good idea, but you may actually be wasting water instead.
For a more sustainable garden, try using a traditional watering can.
You could also consider harvesting rainwater, as long as there’s no drought, that is.
Not looking out for wilting plants
If plants are affected by the rising temperatures they’ll show signs, such as wilting leaves and drooping branches.
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Nikki Hollier says: “The parts of the plants furthest from the roots are usually affected first and most severely.”
Just be sure to keep a look out for any signs that your garden is struggling.
Not watering hard landscapes
These areas while not home to plants can still be affected by rising temperatures, and can become rather uncomfortable in a heatwave.
If you have children or pets or may wish to go aside you may want to keep patios and other hard areas cool by spraying them with some cold water.
Neglecting the vegetable patch
Don’t forget your vegetables and abandon them in the hot weather.
Vegetables should be watered either in the morning or evening – watering at the hottest point in the day will lead to water evaporating before the plants have time to absorb it.
Consider covering your veg and protecting it from the sun using mesh covers or cloches.
Forgetting about your houseplants
Don’t forget to also care for your houseplants in the heatwave.
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Like outdoor plants, the best time to water them will be in the morning before the day heats up.
A weekly watering schedule is usually fine, but look out for signs that the plants may need a top up in a heatwave.
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