As planet Earth continues to warm and weather conditions are gradually becoming more extreme, facing heatwaves is becoming increasing common. This means grounds maintenance staff and gardeners alike are facing challenges to keep trees, lawns, shrubs and other ornamentals healthily during these periods of excessive heat and sunlight.
Here are some tips to help protect your plants from the extreme heat:
1. Where possible plant native species of trees, shrubs, and flowers as they will adapt much better to the changing climate that imports. They also have better resistance to local diseases.
2. Use light coloured mulch to protect your soil as it reflects light much better than dark-coloured mulch. It also helps the soil to retain moisture.
3. Make sure you water plants using watering cans from a low height, preferably early in the morning. This minimises the loss of water through evaporation. Watering low also prevents the leaves of plants getting scolded as the temperature rises. Use recycled grey water wherever possible. Avoid watering with sprinklers as they lose too much water to evaporation and will be banned in the event of a hosepipe ban anyway.
4. Protect your fragile plants with shade cloth. It is available to in many different shapes and sizes and has different sun protection factors available. Your most tender plants will need at least 50% protection.
5. Try and avoid any new planting or any transplanting during the heatwave conditions. It is now conducive to healthy growth and in all likelihood the plant will dry out in both instances.
6. Avoid fertiliser for your grass lawn or any other plants, it will most likely evaporate again. Plus, plants struggle to take nutrients on board in these conditions so use of a fertiliser is a complete waste of your time and money.
7. Set your mowing height to high when mowing your grassed areas. The same goes for any areas you plan to strim. Reduce your cutting schedule to a few times a month rather than a few times a week. Taller grass helps retain moisture and provides protection to the soil below.
8. Protect any wildlife by leaving out water in a birdbath or similar. Keeping beneficial wildlife watered will keep the micro-ecosystem of your garden or greenspace balanced and will prevent your plants from being ravaged by pests un-checked by their predators.
So there you have it. 8 actionable tips to help protect your outdoor space against the intense sun and heat. Make sure you use water responsibility in drought conditions and reuse everything where possible.
If you found this information useful you may also want to head to our grass cutting guide to learn more about how to best mow your lawn.