Remember to water
Watering is essential as the weather warms up. Give your garden a big drink once or twice a week to draw plant roots deeper into the nutritious soil. Containers and hanging baskets will need watering once a day – perhaps twice a day if it is hot and windy.
For larger shrubs and trees, leave a hose dribbling around the base for an hour. Your hedges can be watered with a home-made “trickle hose” – a length of old hose pierced with tiny holes.
It may officially be summer but the great British weather likes to keep us guessing. Keep vulnerable plants protected at night if frost is forecast. It is best to keep your tender plants indoors until the middle of the month.
A buzzing lawn mower is the quintessential sound of summer – this is definitely the time for mowing. Little and often is better than a big attack every once in a while, so try to cut the grass once a week.
Ideally, spread your grass clippings across the compost heap in shallow layers. A huge mound might turn slimy and spoil the compost underneath. Ideally, spread your grass clippings across the compost heap in shallow layers. A huge mound might turn slimy and spoil the compost underneath.
If your lawn is newly laid, do not let the turf dry out in hot weather. Water it every evening and, if we do have a heat wave, consider letting the grass grow a little longer than usual to help it through the dry spell
With a bit of luck, it will be nice and warm in the garden now. But you will not be the only one enjoying the weather, so keep an eye out for pests. Greenfly and blackfly in particular love the heat. If you catch caterpillar and aphid infestations early enough, they can be dealt with by hand. Aphids and other sap-sucking insects can transmit viruses.
Remember the birds
Do not wait for winter to feed the birds in your garden. If the hot weather continues and the ground hardens, it will be much more difficult for them to find food. Put some out to supplement their diet and help them build their reserves for winter. Birds love to splash about on hot summer days..
Protect your produce
Home-grown fruit is delicious and fun to grow. Keep an especially watchful eye on it in dry weather – water regularly and keep picking. Mulching with organic matter will help reduce water loss and suppress weeds. Try organic farmyard manure.
If you grow vegetables under glass, remember that even greenhouses can get too hot. Keep them shaded on hot days, and spray the floor with water in the morning to create a humid atmosphere.
Do not do this at night, though, because the humidity and lower temperatures can encourage pests and disease.