Do you have a home garden? Whether it is a big garden or a small garden ,or even some outside plants in your balcony, you should know how to take proper care of those plants in the upcoming heat.
During the long months of summer, and particularly in hot areas, it is not just us humans who face dehydration and side effects of heat, but also the plants in our home gardens.
That is why good preparation is essential for your home garden to survive the wilting effects of the Gulf summer.
1. Water deeply and regularly
This should be obvious, especially if the summer in your region is exceptionally hot and dry.
Remember that you should always water your home garden in the cool times of the day. The best times are early morning or evening to avoid evaporation.
Also, it is much better to water deeply; this means you should apply more water on longer intervals than to water a little bit every day, as this encourages the plant roots to sink in more deeply into the soil.
2. Let your grass grow a little longer
It is better to raise the height of your lawn-mower blade in the summer, cutting your grass a little longer than usual.
More leaf surface keeps the grass in your home garden healthier during hot, dry weather.
Also if you mow much higher, you will give the lawn a better chance of shading itself.
3. Add some mulch
Organic mulch can be made from different materials, you can add anything made from organic matter. For example, shredded wood, straw, a mix of grass clippings and shredded leaves.
These materials are going to help your soil in the long run as they decompose and add to your soil structure.
Spreading a layer of mulch over your soil is one of the best things you can do for your garden, especially during heat waves.
The mulch blankets the ground and provides a shield to the soil from the harsh sun.
This keeps the soil cooler, so your plant roots are healthier, and prevents moisture loss from evaporation.
4. Do not neglect potted plans
Potted plants can even be more vulnerable to overheating, as they do not have the option of sinking their roots deeper for water.
On the other hand, it is easier to move potted plants to a more protected area if needed.
So try to keep them away from the hot noon sun if possible and keep the sand moist. This ensures roots stay cool and plants remain healthy.
You can also add a pot-saucer under the pot, and fill it up with water before you leave the house for the day.
Be careful though, these can attract mosquitoes, so take adequate precautions and do not leave them after sunset.
5. Fertilise for more help
In times of excessive heat, a fertilizer can be hugely beneficial to plants.
A liquid fertilizer treatment often reduces heat stress and it may help protect the plant in the future.
Apply a soluble fertilizer with added seaweed, and use that opportunity to simultaneously water, feed and correct mineral deficiencies.
6. Increase the shade as much as possible
Strategically placing a tree, vine or some clumping bamboo to shield your house and garden from the searing sun is often a great option.
Freshly planted plants are especially vulnerable. So try to shelter them with palm fronds, or leafy branches for a week or two. This helps them establish without harm.
7. Beware of the wind
Wind is another danger, as hot windy air can dry out soil, plants, and mulch, quickly. So a living screen such as a hedge, or a some form of fencing is highly recommended.
It should allow some air flow through, it is recommended to get a fence that allows some air movement.
If no air can circulate, the garden is likely to turn into a heat trap.
8. Try to cater to your plants according to their needs
While some vegetables may withstand the heat, small flowering shrubs with delicate green leaves can be critically affected, as their native environment prefers milder conditions.
Occasional misting of such plants can protect them as they absorb a lot of water through their leaves.