In earlier days, gardening was more of a hobby people opted for after retirement. Times have changed, though. Nowadays, almost every other house has a small lawn or garden. People take up gardening more as a daily chore rather than a hobby. And it should be that way.
Even if you work eight hours a day, you should take out time for your garden, if you own one. Otherwise, you will end up having wilted flowers and malnourished plants, full of weeds – giving the garden an unpleasant look. Your garden needs you all year round, but in summers it needs extra care and attention. Summer plant care involves tips to retain moisture and help plants survive the heatwave. Be it a garden shrub or a small potted plant in the corner of your living room, the dreaded heatwave can damage these plants with no chance of recovery. Some weather-resistant plants like cactus and euphorbia can easily survive the heat spell. We would be discussing some special gardening tips for summer in order to survive the heat wave.
Let’s have a look at how you can do that.
Create a humid environment
Plants that require a humid environment to survive such as ferns and crotons should be watered daily. Also spray water on the leaves to add a cooling effect. Spraying removes any kind of dirt from the leaves, keeping them fresh and healthy. For an indoor fern, you can fill a dish with water and keep your potted plant on it. This will create a humid climate for your plant and also increase humidity. The roots grow deep and can absorb water. This way the plant absorbs the water it needs.
Do not over water the plants
If you are watering the plant regularly, but your plant is wilting, it means that you are over-watering the plant. It is easy to pick up the garden hose and start spraying water. You will end up doing more harm than good. Therefore, it is recommended to first check by testing the moisture of the soil with a finger. If the soil is water-logged, wait for a day or two and do the soil test again. Once you feel the soil is completely dry, only then you must water your plants – but water them deeply.
Although you want to get done with watering the plants quickly in the summer heat, the plants do not absorb much water. Only the top soil gets moist, while the water does not reach its base. The roots are parched and thirsty and also the moisture of soil evaporates quickly, leaving your plant dry. If you water slowly and for a longer period, the soil will gradually soak water, reaching down its roots.
For indoor plants, close those windows to keep the heat away. You should also keep in mind while your air conditioner is keeping your room cool, it is also stealing away the moisture from the air. Keep a close lookout for dehydrated and thirsty plants and water them accordingly.
Mulching fruit trees
Sunburn in plants is quite common in harsh summer weathers. But you can’t apply sunscreen on plant leaves, of course. You can move your indoor plant away from direct sunlight to a place where they do not get direct sunlight. For plants in your garden, you can provide a temporary shade on them, during peak sun-hours. If you have big fruit trees, you can not cover them, but the scorching heat can evaporate all the moisture from the soil. There is another way to provide protection to fruit trees from direct sunlight and it is also one of the most effective strategies for good plant care in summer. It is called mulching. The fallen leaves and flowers from fruit trees act as a natural mulch that keeps the soil moist. Do not sweep away the fallen leaves, but let them accumulate over time so that you have a good layer of mulch that retains the moisture of soil. Big fruit trees and flowering trees like the chikoo tree, sharifa tree and colourful bougainvillea or moringa trees do not need to be watered regularly, if the mulch is there. You can water them deeply once a week.
Provide a cool environment
If you take a stroll outside on a hot, sunny day, you feel dizzy and dehydrated. Just imagine how plants must feel standing in the face of the sun all day long. Sunburn in plants can damage them beyond recovery. Indoor plants need to be kept cool by keeping them in the shade and also by covering the windows with drapes or blinds so that the room is cool and your plants are happy.
Timing is crucial
One of the most important tips for taking care of plants in summers is to never water them in the scorching heat – from 11 AM to 2 PM. During this time of the day, if you water them, the plants will get a sunburn. The leaves will become brown and wilted. To maintain plants in summer, it is recommended to water the plants early in the morning or in the evenings after 3 PM. Never re-pot a plant in the blazing heat as its roots will be exposed to bright sunlight when you are shifting from one pot to the other and the plant might not like that. Also, it is best to leave the plant as is during peak hours. Do not prune wilted leaves or flowers. Give your plant some rest so it can survive the heatwave. For better plant care in summer, always prune in the evening or early morning.
Signs of stressed out plants
While taking care of plants in summers, learn to identify possible signs of stress in your plant. Some plants that have tender leaves can die when exposed to heat. Check out for these signs of sunburn in plants. Leaves droop or get wilted after a sunny day. You will see brown patches on leaves which tell you that the plant is stressed. Flowers will fall and the leaves might turn yellow and curve on the edges.
Try out these gardening tips for summer and save your plants from dying. Apart from keeping your garden look good in the scorching heat, you can also revamp your interiors with these cool summer home decoration ideas. Let us know in the comment section below.