A scorching heatwave is upon us this weekend, with even more sizzling hot days predicted for the rest of summer.
And as we bask in the hottest temperatures of the year so far, green-fingered Britons are most likely itching to get out into their gardens and give them the most luscious makeovers.
However gardening in hot weather, no matter how fun it appears, should be done with the utmost care.
Several experts have warned of the top mistakes to avoid when caring for your garden in extreme heat, especially when mowing those pesky overgrown lawns.
For instance, lawn feed expert and founder of The Relentless Gardener, Matt Adams, suggested gardeners should avoid using any weed killer over the hot weekend.
Several experts have warned of the top mistakes to avoid when caring for your garden in extreme heat, especially when mowing those pesky overgrown lawns (stock photo)
1. Don’t over-water your plants
Just as humans drink more liquids in the heat, surely it’s reasonable to estimate that plants need more water in searing temperatures? Unfortunately, this assumption couldn’t be more wrong.
Henry Bartlam, founder of gardening company Dig told Ideal Home: ‘Don’t give your plants a daily light sprinkling of water. Better to give them a good soak every couple of days (especially in warmer weather) than a quick splash every day’.
If you know your garden well, you’ll probably know when you’ve fed it enough water.
Henry added that if the soil looks damp, and doesn’t dry out too quickly, you’ve probably poured a good amount of water.
2. Avoid watering your plants during the day
During scorching temperatures, knowing exactly when to water your plants is key to keeping them gloriously green.
The best time to water your garden is as bright and early as possible, and before 10am to avoid the heat setting in.
QVC gardening expert Mark Lane told the publication that the early morning is preferable compared to later in the day, so that the water can dry off quickly.
This method also aids in protecting your plants from fungal diseases and fungal growth. Ignoring this advice could prove disastrous for your plants and lead to rot, insects and even the death of your plant.
During scorching temperatures, knowing exactly when to water your plants is key to keeping them gloriously green. The best time to water your garden is as bright and early as possible, and before 10am to avoid the heat setting in (stock photo)
3. Don’t forget to try and heavily water your lawn
Lawn feed expert and founder of The Relentless Gardener, Matt Adams, said: ‘As temperatures are set to climb over the next few days, it’s important we take the time to heavily water our lawns.
‘This means, soaking the soil rather than just watering the grass blade. It is very hard to over-water your lawn, so don’t hold back.
‘Always water your lawn in the mornings, before the main heat of the day, as this will reduce the risk of the water evaporating. Preferably use collected rain-water.’
4. Don’t use weed killer
Matt Adams said: ‘Although your grass can be incredibly resilient at times, it’s best to avoid using any weed killer during the heatwave.
‘It’s another unnecessary stress for your healthy grass to fight off,’ explained the gardening expert.
Matt continued: ‘As the heat takes over, plant growth slows down and the leaves dry out, reducing the amount of herbicide that weeds can absorb – so even if you want to remove weeds, chances are they’re not budging until after the sun anyway.’
5. Don’t fail to give your soil some shade
During the summer season, gardens are filled with day parties, barbeques and general fanfare.
If you’re planning to rearranging your garden to shade your party guests, you may want to consider your soil too.
During a heatwave, if temperatures rise too much it may impede on your plants’ ability to absorb water and nutrients.
Sean Lade, director of Easy Garden Irrigation advised that it’s best to shield your soil from the sun where possible.
The expert suggests spreading a layer of mulch over your soil to shield it from the sun, which stops its moisture from evaporating.
6. Avoid over-mowing your lawn
Director at turf-growing company Rolawn and gardening expert, Jonathan Hill, told The Mirror: ‘When temperatures in the UK rise, mowing can actually cause stress to a lawn so it’s often best to leave your grass to grow a little longer in these conditions.
‘The shorter the grass, the less shade there is to protect the roots and therefore the amount of moisture held by them is reduced – grass that is too short will dry out.’
He added: ‘We often recommend that, during drought or particularly dry conditions, gardeners don’t mow their lawns. Survival is more likely in a heatwave if you don’t mow at all.’