Like us, plants struggle with extremes of temperature so taking steps to offer them some protection is important if you want your outside space to bloom all summer.
Some plants will thrive in the temperatures being predicted, others will wilt and feel very sorry for themselves.
As a gardener, the most important piece of advice I can give is to plant in the right place. If a species requires partial shade, plant it in a place that allows that. If it loves full sun, then there will be an appropriate spot in your garden for that plant.
If you get that right, then the rest becomes much simpler.
Here are my tips for protecting plants during hot weather.
Pick the right plants for each location
Some areas of your garden may get more sun than others so it’s important to take some time to familiarise yourself with plants that thrive off of the sun and plants that don’t.
It’s best to water plants before or after the sun has hit its peak. Watering plants at the hottest point of the day just means the sun will dry up the water. It needs to be done when it’s slightly cooler to give the plants the chance to soak it up.
Aim to water plants once a day, giving them a good drench to allow the water to seep deep into the soil and get to the deep roots. Don’t be tempted to give them more water than normal – you could end up over-watering.
Avoid using fertiliser
A common mistake people make is thinking plants need fertiliser in warmer conditions to make them stronger. Fertiliser triggers the plant to grow, meaning more nutrients and water is needed. This will be hard to keep up with in hot conditions, the soil will be drying out quicker and your plant won’t be able to absorb water properly in the heat.
Shade, shade, shade
Just like us, plants could do with a bit of shade when it gets too hot. If your plants are in pots you can simply move them to a cooler area of the garden. If your plants are in a flower bed there are ways you can create a bit of shade. Try pinning a white bed sheet above the plants to protect them from the sun.
Use mulch to lock in soil moisture
Soil dries out quicker in higher temperatures, so it’s a good idea to lock in the moisture once you’ve watered your plants especially if they require moist soil. Mulch is a layer that you can put on top of your soil to act as a bit of a barrier between the sun and the soil to prevent it from drying out.
Pick the right pots
Pots can make a difference to how much sun can access plants. Black pots will attract the heat, which can damage your plants. Similarly, pots like terracotta that are left unsealed can lose moisture quickly which means that your plant is at risk of being dehydrated. Aim to get pots that are sealed and light in colour in order to reflect the sun and give your plant the best possible chance.