Preparing your garden for summer 2017

As the temperature begins to rise and the winter begins to seem like a distant memory it’s easy to start focusing on your summer plans. Don’t forget that your garden is not a fan of the soaring temperatures either! Here are some things to consider whist making your garden ready for summer.

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Most importantly remember to change the irrigation patterns to water the correct amount and at the correct time of day. Generally speaking morning is the best time; just like us your plants are also up early and ready for action. Give them a good long drink but don’t over do it. Plants can only take in a limited amount of water so too much water is a waste! Five to seven minutes should be plenty if using an average household irrigation system. If you’re watering by hand and want to properly control how much water your plants get then head down to a hardware store and pick up an easy-to-install irrigation system that plugs straight onto the garden tap. These handy bits of kit can be programmed to go on and off at certain times of the day. One of these systems can also be extremely useful when you go on holiday.

Lawns can be very tricky in the summer heat and depending on what grass type you have lawns will behave in different ways. Some love the heat and some hate it but the general rule of thumb is that longer slower watering is better than quick blasts. Test a few different scenarios on the grass throughout the summer and see how the lawn responds; you will then be in a much better position next year.

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No one likes being cooped up inside all summer, staring out of the window wondering if the mercury has hit 50 degrees. How about installing a cost effective shade sail system. Creating some decent shade in your garden will keep the sun off your tiles and pavers, stopping them heating up like a pizza oven and dramatically reduce the ambient temperature around your house. You don’t have to cover the whole garden but choose an area where you spend most of your time and cover it. You’ll be surprised at how much more time you will spend outside.

Cover your furniture. We’re continually hearing about outdoor furniture not lasting more than one or two summers. Admittedly a lot comes down to the quality of the materials but try standing outside for the whole summer and see if you make it through! Relentless 45 Degree heat will affect even the sturdiest furniture so try and find a cover that fits the furniture you have and cover it all throughout the hottest months. If your furniture is an odd shape then have a cover made, there are plenty of companies in and around town who can do this inexpensively. A decent cover will greatly extend the life of your outdoor furniture.

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Move your plants out of the direct sun. Obviously this is only possible to do with plants in pots but if you are able to so then move your plants to an area that is not in the sun’s direct light all day long. If there is an area that receives a healthy dose of sun in the early morning or late evening then move your plants there for the summer and keep an eye on the sun’s movements as the patterns change every day. Once you feel the heat start to subside in late September then you can move your plants back to their original spot.

Make sure everything in your garden is organised and working properly before you head off on your travels. The main thing to look for is any weakness in the irrigation pipes or small leaks that seem to be getting worse. There is nothing more frustrating that finding out you’ve got a leak whilst you’re away or even worse not finding out until you are back and then getting the water bill! Ouch!!

If you are travelling for a long period of time it is worth asking a friend or a neighbour to pop in once a week and check the garden, and house for that matter, for any issues. This will give you the peace of mind you need to sit back, relax and think of the rest of us slowly cooking here at our desks!

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