With warmer weather on the way, many gardeners will be working hard this June to ensure they reap the benefits of their spring efforts and ensure they’ve got a beautiful place to sit and relax all summer.
Many will know though that there are some easy traps to fall into, especially for those pushed for time.
Whether gardeners are planting flowers, mowing their lawns or growing plants, there’s always something new to learn in the garden.
To help gardeners out, Brian Davenport, co-founder of The Solar Centre, has shared four gardening mistakes to avoid during summer so gardeners can enjoy their gardens to the fullest.
1. Cutting the grass too short
Cutting the lawn too short may seem like a good solution to prolong the need to cut it again, but “this will damage the grass”, warned the expert. He explained that by cutting the grass too close to the root, it will “diminish its ability” to absorb much-needed nutrients to grow.
READ MORE: Exact date to mow your lawn after hot weather to avoid ‘killing’ the grass
The lack of rainfall during the summer will also slow down the rate of regrowth, or completely inhibit it.
Overcutting limits a lawn’s ability to absorb sunshine too which is essential for photosynthesis and ultimately “weakens” the root system. Per session of lawn mowing, gardeners shouldn’t cut off more than a third of the grass blade and ensure it doesn’t go lower than three inches.
2. Placing plants in the wrong location
Plants love sunshine and they need it to grow, but growing them in the “wrong location” where there is too much exposure can negatively affect plants and can go as far as “even killing them”.
Brian explained: “Intense sun and heat can cause chlorophyll to break down in leaves, which is essential for plant growth and health, and will eventually lead to physical deterioration such as dropping flowers, roots that die, and eventually death of the whole plant.”
On particularly hot days, the expert noted that it is best to place potted greenery in the shade where it is cooler and more protected.
For plants in flowerbeds that cannot be moved, a well-placed parasol can be used to shield them, or alternatively prop up some garden furniture to create some shade.
3. Over or under-watering your lawn
Over-saturating a lawn can cause it to flood and become wet and muddy, which will “rot the roots and kill the grass”. But in contrast, too little water “will cause grass blades to turn brown” and the ground to become dry and cracked, resulting in grassroots dying allowing for “weeds to grow” instead.
To combat this, homeowners should stick to an infrequent water schedule to “avoid damaging their lawn”. Brian explained that grass only needs an inch of water each week to grow at a normal rate, and this will normally be provided by rainfall.
During summer months, gardeners can water their grass two to three times per week to account for a lack of rainfall, but they should be careful not to soak it as the ground will be dryer and may not absorb excess water.
Households should also be wary of any restrictions on watering grass, particularly in the summer when droughts can lead to hosepipe bans.
4. Transplanting greenery
Summer is the perfect time for gardening, but the “wrong time of year” to start moving them around. This is because young plants in particular have delicate root systems that often sit closer to the surface of a flowerbed, meaning their roots are more likely to dry out in hot weather and “the plant may die before it can establish a stronger root system”.
This will only be made worse by unnecessary transplanting which can often cause “trauma” and in tandem with high heat, “it can spell disaster for plant health”.
Brian urged: “Avoid moving your greenery in the summer where possible, but if it must be moved, do it first thing in the morning or in the evening when it’s cooler. This will prevent water from evaporating before it can reach the plant’s roots, as the transferred plant should be watered immediately after placing it in its new location, and in the middle of the day, heat can evaporate water quickly.”