Your Plants Need Protecting From the HeatThursday, August 22, 2013 by: Greener Ideal
Yep, you guessed it. Another post about gardens and the ridiculous temperatures we’re having. I apologise if you’re getting a bit bored of it, but based on the current weather forecast, these temperatures look like they’re here to stay for a while. So we figured it would be for the greater good if we started to prepare people as best as possible for what lies ahead for the rest of the summer in the UK.
If you’re a seasoned gardener, there’s a good chance you’ll already know how much of a detrimental effect heat can have on plants. However, if you’re still a newbie to the green thumb way of life, you may naively think that a bit of heat won’t cause any problems… Sadly, you’re wrong! But it’s better to find out early on than it is to find out later when some of your favourite plants have dried up and died.
Plants grow acclimatised to a certain type of weather and in the UK, that’s pretty much rain with an odd sprinkling of sunshine. However, this massive change will have really thrown your plants off what they’re used to. This in itself can cause damage, but we’re going to try and help you prevent that as much as possible.
How To Protect Your Plants
Plants outside in the garden will be facing dry soil conditions and a lot of exposure to direct sunlight. You can minimise the amount of problems they face by keeping soil well hydrated and moist; this ensures plants still get well needed nutrients and don’t dry up. To increase or maintain moisture levels in the soil, apply mulches directly to the soil around plants; this also has the added benefit of shielding plant roots from intense temperatures.
For a guide on when’s best to water the garden, click here.
As well as this, it’s not a bad idea constructing some make-shift shading for areas of the garden that don’t get any naturally. Leafy plants such as cabbages and lettuce are prone to overheating and a bit of shade can be extremely beneficial.
For those of you with a greenhouse, you also need to pay careful attention to what’s going on inside. If you have a lot of plants up high on shelves and staging, it’s a wise idea to move them to ground level or as low as you possibly can. You might not realise, but there’s a considerable temperature difference between the top and bottom – enough to cause (or prevent) plant death.
In strong sunlight like this, reflecting some of the heat is a great idea. This can be done by painting or glazing a white colour on the glass panes, especially the roof, in order to reflect some of the sun’s rays.
You also want to ensure there is an adequate amount of air circulating as this will help warm air escape and dissipate. To do this, you could open a vent (unless of course you’ve got the automatic adjustable ones to work) or if all else fails, remove an entire glass pane as this will certainly do the trick.
Hopefully this helps keep your plants and garden in a healthy condition; if you’ve got any other tips or tricks that are useful in these temperatures, please drop us a comment below!