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Summer Plant Care

Jude Jude
21/06/2022 · 5 minutes reading time

It’s 36°, and it's getting even hotter…

As the days get longer and the temperatures rise, so too do your plants’ need for extra love and care. But fear not – we’ve got you covered! We have put together our most important tips for summer plant care. So break out that suncream and let’s get out into the garden!

Here’s What’s Ahead:

Watering

When it gets hot, watering is one of the most important tasks in the garden – or on your balcony, if that’s more your style. Water evaporates more quickly in the summer due to the heat. This can cause your plants to die of thirst. So here are a few things to keep in mind:

Choose the right time to water. The morning hours are the best, when it is not so hot. This allows the water to evaporate more slowly.

Water generously. The water must reach deep into the ground – if the water only stays on the surface, it will evaporate quickly, and the roots can dry out. For potted plants, keep watering until the water comes out of the drainage holes at the bottom.

It is better to water less often, but with enough water, as opposed to more often, but with too little water.

You can find detailed information on the subject in our article "Quick Tips for Watering Your Plants".

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Many beginners mistakenly water the leaves and wonder why their plants get unhappy. Direct the water stream directly at the soil, and you will all be happier!

Fertiliser

We recommend fertilising your plants regularly in the summertime. Due to the high temperatures, most plants draw loads of salts from the soil and therefore need more nutrients. How much and how often you should fertilise depends on the nature of your soil and what types of plants you have. It also makes a difference whether your plants grow in a pot or in a bed. In general, potted plants require slightly more regular fertilising, since they have less space – this means that nutrients are flushed out more quickly.

When it comes to nitrogen requirements in particular, plants can be divided into three types: heavy-, moderate- and weak-feeders. You can read about which plants belong to which type and what you have to consider in each case in our article “LINK”.

Sunburn

I know this all too well. Green eyes, ginger beard, semi-pale skin…yes, the summer beach is a double-edged sword, with one edge leaving my skin a painfully crispy pink.

And like us humans, plants can get sunburnt too. It is important that we mind how much sun our plants can really tolerate. Too much sun can cause dehydration, sunburn, or heat build-up in some species. The sunburn manifests itself as dark or light discoloration on the leaves – that does not look very nice, and you can be sure it doesn’t feel so nice either. If you have houseplants, pay particular attention to those that are near sunny windows. The heat can accumulate behind the glass and the plant gets too hot. If the leaves lie directly against the pane, they can even dry up completely.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid sunburn:

Get your plants gradually acclimated to the sun. If you bring plants from an inside location to the outdoor sun, it is best to first put them in a partially shaded area. After a week or two, you can move them to a sunny spot.

It is also important that your plants get enough water, and that the water does not remain on the leaves. If there is water on the leaves and the sun shines on them, the so-called “magnifying glass effect” can occur. Drops of water concentrate the sun's rays on the leaf, which can lead to some nasty burns. So it is best not to water in the scorching midday heat.

If your plants still get sunburnt, we recommend a change of location first, as this may help protect them from the sun. If you cannot move the plant, consider a parasol or an awning. Yes, it may seem a bit “extra”, but hey – some plants are divas, and we love them just the way they are.

Summer Pests

Pests are at their peak in summer. That's why you should examine your plants regularly. If a few pests have made themselves comfortable on your plants, you have to act quickly.

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Your garden may attract many pests – but also many critters that are beneficial and will help protect your plant-friends.

The most common pests include:

  • Lice: aphids, scale insects or mealybugs

  • Snails

  • White flies

  • Cabbage white butterflies

To get rid of the little critters, there are a variety of solutions. Some will call for chemical agents. That’s not really our style.

It turns out, a lot of creatures that we typically see as frightening or ugly can be your best friends when it comes to protecting your plants. Critters like hornets, wasps and spiders may not be the creatures you would want to have as your go-to snuggle-buddy, but they are natural predators against many of the insects that would otherwise feast on your plantbabies.

Plus, not all are scary. Ladybirds will turn up for an all-you-can-eat aphid special every day of the week. And if you know how to make a simple birdhouse or birdfeeder, you can easily create an ecosystem that will protect your plants from worms and snails.

Sowing

In summer, it's finally time to harvest and enjoy some of your planted vegetables or fruits. But that also means there is more space in the vegetable patch for sowing new varieties. And if you missed your chance in the spring, now is the perfect time to sow some fast-growing spring, summer and vegetables and winter vegetables.

Examples of suitable plants are:

  • Spinach

  • Lettuce

  • Chard

  • Parsnips

  • Radish

  • Cabbage

Only if you sow something in summer will you still have fresh vegetables from your own garden in autumn and winter. And we are big, big fans of that!