The biggest issue to tackle during summer is usually the lack of water (however, this can easily change from one week to the next in the UK!) During the wetter periods it is a great idea to invest in a water butt to collect the water. This will save you money and you won't need to worry about your plants dying during a hose pipe ban if there is one. Rain water is actually better for your plants anyway as tap water can be slightly alkaline which causes damage to some plants.
Water your plants at the start of the day before it gets too hot. This limits evaporation and helps plants deal with the heat. If you're not a morning person or it isn't feasible to do your watering in the morning then early evening is the next best time. Don't do it too late however as you need to allow time for the leaves to dry so they are of at risk of mould or mildew.
Don't water little and often! Not only will this encourage weeds to grow but it will mean your plants form roots near the surface, making them weak and vulnerable. It is best to water the soil surrounding your plants really thoroughly, making little pools around them so the water can really soak in. This will support your plants for longer meaning you need to water less often!
Feed your plants
Like any living thing, plants need food and water to survive. As most of you know, plants make their own food by converting sunlight into energy but they still need more nutrients to grow healthy. In the wild plants would get their nutrients from decayed plants and animal matter - obviously potted plants and garden plants don't generally have access to these. This is why we need to keep the nutriemt levels topped up by feeding our plants.
Feeding your plants regularly in summer will give you the best results from your garden. It is especially important that you feed your container plants as they will exhaust the nutrients in the soil quickly.
When choosing a plant food, a general purpose food will suit most plants but always read the labels. If you are growing fruit and veg you may need something designed specifically for that purpose to give you the right nutrients. The packet will also tell you how often you need to feed your plants - it can be a good idea to set yourself a reminder! Most plants only need feeding once a month during spring and summer when they are growing.
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