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How to look after your plants in the summer months

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Tips to keep your plants happy in the warmer seasons

You can’t stop the sun shining, who would want to anyway? So you have to find ways to protect your precious plants during the hot months. Plants suffer just like we do if exposed for too long, evaporation dries everything out. Therefore hydration and shade become paramount tasks, above all else. With preparation, the sun can be good for growth and regeneration, especially after a tough winter.

Before the next hot spell, and your leaves start to wither, here are some tips from Rattan Direct, specialists in garden decor.

How to look after your plants in the summer months

WATER

As a general rule, water much more than you do at any other time of the year. It will compensate for the lack of humidity present in the atmosphere. Squeeze some soil in your hand, if it drifts off, the soil is too dry, if it remains roughly in a lump, then that is about right. Water all plants in the early morning, or around sunset. Water will just evaporate in the heat during the middle of the day.

If you have sandy soil, mix in some clay. Doing it at the best times of day reduces the risk of mildew and fungi from affecting the exposed leaves.  Sudden loss of buds and flowers is often a sign of the plant drying out. Weeds should be dug out, so that the nutrients and water intended for the plants, does not find its way to the weeds. Check that hoses and water systems are not leaking, and unblock the nozzles, they may be filled with Calcium deposits.

POT POLICY

Potted plants can’t send their roots deep looking for water, so take special care that they get enough, but don’t flood them, a little and often is the rule of thumb.  Flowers, especially those in terracotta pots, are vulnerable to overheating. Put them in a container filled with moist sand, this will keep the roots cool. If potted plants really dry out they may still be saved by, dumping them in a bucket of water for thirty minutes, then make sure they are well drained. Indoor plants may not require a lot of sunlight, but make sure they get at least some natural light. If you don't add nutrients to the soil fairly regularly, plants in pots and hanging baskets will eventually suffer.

VEGETABLES

Newly planted seedlings need some protection such as a 50 % shade cloth, for instance, old net curtains, at least for a week or two. Chillies and pumpkins often require extra manure for steady growth. Vegetables like cucumber, pumpkin, or watermelon can be easily adapt to being grown in pots. But choose the vegetables whose roots are shallow.

SUMMER BLOSSOMS

Heat and high humidity encourages germination of seeds. Indirect sunlight is sufficient to encourage healthy flowering. It is an excellent time to plant flowering saplings such as Periwinkle, Zinnia, Lilly, Gomphrena, and many other similar varieties. It is now the time to replace your Petunias, Chrysanthemums, Marigolds and Dahlias, in order to  enjoy a continued display.

LAWNS

Brown and threadbare, lawns, with a preponderance of weeds, is often a result of cutting the grass too low in summer. Leave the adjustments on the mower at the highest setting. Don’t discard the clippings, they are good for activating your tired compost heap and for mulching in your shrubberies.

HEALTH

The soil should get more nutrients in summer to encourage growth and provide extra energy that is required after the dormant season. Magnesium boosts robust growth and the creation of vigour in plants.  Add one heaped teaspoon of Epsom salts to four and a half litres of water. You can spray the leaves, or water the roots. If leaves become stunted and mottled yellow, then you need to increase the iron content of the soil by using iron chelates. 

Plants should be pruned from time to time, in order to remove damaged foliage, and to encourage new growth. You can also cover the top layer of the soil with mulch of decaying leaves or bark, it helps to insulate the soil, and provide extra fertilizer for the ground, and will assist in retaining any moisture. Small stones can also be used as cover. It does not harm the plants, especially those inside in pots if you gently wipe the leaves with a soft damp cloth. Removing any dust helps with photosynthesis.

This blog post was written by Rattan Direct, experts in garden décor for all tastes and requirements. Rattan Direct hopes this information will help you with your gardening exploits this summer.

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