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Stay cool and look after your garden in the hot weather

THOSE of a certain vintage will remember The Beatles singing a song called Here Comes The Sun.

Well, we’ve had plenty of sun recently and hopefully, plenty more before summertime ends.

But for gardeners it’s important that when the Heat Is On – this time a hit from the Beverley Hills Cop movie – we don’t let it get too hot to handle for our plants and flowers.

Here are a few tips on how to take care of your garden during hot weather.

First rule is never water your plants, grass or flowers during the day when the sun is at its hottest, as the water will simply evaporate and your plants won’t get the benefit.

Worse still, if there are droplets of water on leaves and flower petals this can magnify the sunlight and cause scorching.

Best time to water the plants is either first thing in the morning – but only the soil and not over leaves and petals – or better still, in the evening when the sun is setting and there is plenty shade over your garden. Whether it’s early morning or at night make sure your garden gets a good watering on the earth under the plant’s canopy.

If your ground has baked hard in the sun, it’s a good idea to break up the surface so the water seeps through the soil to where it should be – in an around the roots.

A good way to drought-proof your plants is to spread organic fertiliser that contains seaweed extracts, as this helps plants cope better in the heat. Also, in very hot weather the soil’s ability to absorb the nutrition of fertilisers is reduced, so it’s best to use liquid fertilisers that have optimum absorption in high temperatures.

Adding an extra thick layer of mulch around the root area of plants acts as a barrier that will hold moisture in the ground and stop as much of the heat getting into the soil and drying it out.

You can also rake mulch through the topsoil as this will help retain moisture under the surface of the ground.

It’s wise not to do any digging during a hot spell as apart from being a rather energy sapping activity for the gardener, turning and disturbing the soil will lead to faster evaporation of moisture in the ground.

When it comes to looking after your grass, a lawn sprayer is a handy tool to get an even distribution of water. Even if your grass turns brown, if it’s been well-watered the lush green grass will soon return.

And when you get out the lawn mower, adjust the blades to a higher setting as longer grass gives the soil and the roots below more shade.

Looking after your vegetables in hot weather is particularly important if you want to harvest your crop and enjoy the fruits of your labour on your dinner table. Make sure your growing veg gets a good soaking.

Now that we’ve sorted your garden during the hot weather, let’s not forget our regular summer visitors – our feathered friends. Keep your birdbath topped up with clean water so they can have a drink and clean their feathers.

And don’t forget we’ve got all the gardening equipment and essentials at Cardwell to make sure your garden keeps growing in the hot weather.

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