How to get your garden ready for the summer season

As the weather warms up, now is an excellent time to start preparations for the summer season. Use these cooler, wetter months to prepare your garden for the hotter, dryer parts of the year.

Water efficiency

It’s important to be water-wise in the garden and try and conserve water where possible. The water from our taps takes a lot of energy to process, so it’s more environmentally friendly to minimise its use in the garden where possible. Luckily there are plenty of ways to conserve water use and still have a thriving garden.

If you haven’t already installed a water butt, it’s a good idea to do so sooner rather than later. Plants prefer to be watered with rainwater rather than tap water, and it’s more environmentally friendly. Get one with a connector fitting so you can connect your home pipe from Swell UK more easily [].

Other tips for saving water

Mulching is a great way to conserve water by preventing evaporation from the soil. Most plants benefit from a two or three inch layer of well-rotted manure, shredded leaves or bark chips applied over their roots in spring. Inorganic mulching materials, such as pebbles, aren’t always water efficient as they can retain heat in the soil and cause a higher level of water evaporation. Try to avoid inorganic mulches where possible.

Plant for water efficiency

You can also select drought-resistance plants – geraniums are a good example of plants that are very forgiving of dry conditions and don’t need frequent watering, even in August. Other drought resistant species include sedums, lovely blue ceanothus, many grasses, and also flowers such as gazania and portulaca (moss rose). Get planting soon – the more mature a plant is during the hotter months, the better chance it has of survival.

Train your plants to be water wise!

It might sound impossible but plants can be trained to be water efficient. If you water young plants frequently, they don’t send out a big root structure that will help them cope with dry conditions. It’s best to get young plants used to dry periods to encourage root growth. For this reason, aim to water generously but infrequently, so the soil has time to dry out between waterings.

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