Many people equate summertime with garden time. The longer days and rising temperatures provide opportunities to craft the best outdoor landscape possible. Gardening is an excellent way to enjoy healthy, outdoor work while beautifying the property.
Whether a gardener prefers to emphasise lush, beautiful flowers and bushes, or uses his or her land to supplement their food diet, gardening provides so many rewards to those who have developed green thumb savvy. Those experienced in garden maintenance and garden design have learned the subtle tricks that can elevate their work to be the pride of their neighbourhood.
Beginners, however, can always use a few helpful tips to get started on a successful planting.
Effective Ways to Keep the Critters Away
The biggest threat to a bountiful and beautiful garden lies in Mother Nature herself. Even in built-up areas, such as the Inner West, Eastern Suburbs, and other areas of Sydney, animals and other pests can destroy months of hard work in as little as one night.
Ground pests can bring both health to the soil, and threats to other parts of the garden. Termites, especially in the northern regions, have voracious appetites. Do not tempt them by leaving wooden tools scattered on the ground near wooden structures, such as pergolas, sheds, or the main house itself. Wood chips and mulch spread too close to structures can have the same, unfortunate effect of attracting unwanted guests.
Those with vegetable gardens have double the worry. Alongside insects, they must also worry about larger animals dropping by for a quick snack or gorging on a big meal. Some in rural areas have surrounded their gardens with high fences using wooden posts and wire. Gardeners can also use chicken wire to cover smaller plants on the ground to protect against hungry birds and mammals.
Keep in mind that not much can protect a garden or its owner against snakes, so always remain vigilant when working.
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Prune for Plant Health and Beauty
Summertime provides the best opportunity for proper pruning of plants. Smart gardeners research the best time of the summer to prune. For example, many make their New Years’ resolution to prune azaleas and camellias as soon as possible, while roses can wait until February.
Pruning also requires different techniques for different foliage. Fruit trees need regular pruning to keep branches and fruit low to the ground throughout their life cycle. Bush based hedging also requires very specific pruning methods to keep them growing properly.
When to Water
Never, ever water during the middle of the day, especially in high summer. The heat of the day combined with relentless solar radiation provides enough problems, but water on leaves can actually amplify the effect.
Experienced gardeners usually water either in early morning or evening when the sun’s rays no longer have direct impact on foliage. This ensures that the water contributes to plant health instead of harm. Plants also get the full benefit of water soaking into the ground, rather than burning away into the sky as vapour.
Too Much Sun Can Hurt Younger Plants
Speaking of the sun, its potential damage can harm young and recently transplanted plants trying to establish themselves in harsh summer conditions. Make some temporary, but translucent semi-shade for them for the first couple of weeks using whatever materials you have handy. This can include old curtains or sheets. Make sure to allow some direct sunlight, however, as sunlight is essential to plant life.
How to Make Watering More Efficient and Effective
Smart gardeners always try to promote efficiency and effectiveness when working in the garden. One way in which to accomplish this lies in adding nutrients to water before spraying or drizzling on plants and surrounding soil. This promotes plant health and reduces work.
Strategically Shade the Garden
Some gardeners indulge themselves in creating large, sophisticated, and complex garden design schemes. While ambition is always laudatory, those planning such an endeavour need to appreciate the value of researching different plants’ sun tolerance. Planting trees or erecting aesthetically pleasing sun blockers of some other type can ensure that sun-vulnerable plants do not get fried in the summer heat.
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Leave Lawns Longer In the Heat of the Summer
Why leave a beautiful and perfect looking piece of outdoor work surrounded by a barren and dry lawn? Gardeners know that they must give their lawns the same care and attention as their gardens to get the same results. When lawn mowing in hot periods, make sure that attention gets paid to keeping the yard healthy.
Although some get tempted by the possibility of having a golf course style yard with grass trimmed short and neat, lawn care experts understand that keeping the grass a little higher than normal can promote resilience in the heat of the summer, keeping grass green and lush.
Gardeners Need to Take Care of Themselves as Well as Their Plants
Yes, a beautiful lawn and garden represent a huge priority for most, but it should never overtake that of personal health. The same stressors that too much heat, sun, and humidity can bring to plant life can affect people even more.
When working outside in the summer heat, make sure to stay hydrated more than usual, and take more frequent and lengthier breaks. While water is best, sports drinks can also provide needed vitamins and minerals. Sodium packed sodas and alcohol have the opposite effect. They dry out the body, leaving it in worse shape during strenuous work on hot days. Make sure to include potassium-packed natural foods when eating to keep those levels high and reduce the possibility of painful cramping.
Also always wear sunblock and protective clothing to protect against painful and harmful burning.
These helpful tips can give the beginning gardener a good handle on protecting the health of their garden and themselves during the summer. As he or she gains experience, the gardener should continue learning through research and observation on how to get the most out of their land.