Summer is when you are going to get the most use out of your lawn. Whether you are hosting a party or simple just enjoying the hot sun, having a healthy lawn throughout the summer months is important.
As well as it being the time of year when it is used most, it is also a time when it needs the most care to ensure that the sun doesn’t dry it out and that it is getting the required nutrients and water at a time when rain is often of a premium.
There are a few simple measures to ensure that your grass stays looking beautiful and green for the entirety of the summer so that you can be confident your backyard will be in good condition for the next BBQ.
In the hotter months, the grass is going to grow a lot quicker than it usually would as it is getting more sun for longer periods as well as the days just being longer in general. This means that it needs to be mowed regularly in order to keep it healthy and looking good.
Ensuring it doesn’t become overgrown makes it easier to care for. Regular attention will keep the grass happy and help it to maintain a rich green colour.
Stay on Top of Weeds
Weeds are part and parcel of any backyard but staying on top on them is important to maintain a healthy garden and a beautiful look. Weeds can end up kill some of the grass by taking away nutrients. Some even attract other animals that can do damage to your grass.
Basic weed killers will be enough to remove weeds and keep them gone if they are treated swiftly. When moving, it is crucial that the weeds are removed beforehand to reduce the likelihood of spreading.
Regularly Feed and Water
In times of really hot weather, the lawn should be water every 2-3 days to maintain its colour and health. It can easily dry out in hot weather and the watering helps to both cool it and maintain moisture in the soil.
Feeding the lawn with the appropriate nutrients may be necessary if it appears to be struggling in the heat and can be identified through brownness or empty patches.
Maintaining a healthy garden can sometimes be seen as a big task and in some instances, it may well be. However, for the majority of people living in suburban areas it is really simple as long as it is attended to regularly.
- Take care of budding plants
Many plants are often budding when the weather is hot or at least hotter than usual. If the plant isn’t receiving the right nutrients or sufficient water then these flowers are going to drop off quickly and you won’t get to experience the beautiful colours.
Know when your plants are going to bud and put some extra care into them during this time. Regular watering and fertilising is important and putting new mulch in will also help.
- Help pots to stay cool
Plants living pots are going to heat up a lot under the hot sun so make sure you move them around a bit to give each plant equal time in the shade. It is important to keep potted plants cool at the roots to encourage growth and also keep them healthy.
Placing them in a saucer with wet sand is the most effective way to keep them cool as a saucer filled with water only encourages root rot and mosquito breeding.
- Water in the morning
Water you plants in the cool of the day is going to give them the best chance to actually soak it all up and make use of it. If you water plants in the hottest part of the day, it is likely that a lot of this water will just evaporate.
Watering in the morning is best as it means that the plants are moist for the hottest part of the day and that they are dry come night time so they don’t become affected by mildew.
Regular fertilisation keeps the plants happy and healthy and gives them the strength to resist periods of no rain or sun. Fertilise weekly where possible but monthly at a minimum to maintain the nutrient levels required.
- Keep an eye out for pests
This is one of the most important steps to maintaining a healthy garden. Pests will slowly kill plants and can ruin the aesthetic. Sometimes it is often difficult to notice if a plant is being attacked by a pest and by the time you do, it’s too late.
Knowing the basic signs for various diseases and pests nesting within your plants is pivotal to keeping it healthy.
Garden insects and pests can often be difficult to identify and sometimes they aren’t noticed until it is too late. Being able to identify them and the damage they are doing to your garden will go a long way to keeping your backyard healthy and looking beautiful.
These tiny little pests are green, pear-shaped and have two little tubes sticking out the back of their abdomen. They can be found on most garden plants however are commonly seen on flowers, fruits and shade trees.
To remove these pests, wash your plants with a strong spray of water or for more severe cases, use a hot pepper or garlic repellent spray.
These maggots, unsurprisingly, are found on all plants related to the cabbage family. The insects tunnel in through the plants roots which either kill the plant immediately or provide a clear channel for diseases to enter through.
To prevent and remove these pests apply floating row covers and mound wood ashes around the stems.
Caterpillars can more often than not be easily seen on any affected plants. Should you not be able to see the insect itself, they leave very distinct holes in the leaves of the plants. Some may even dig into fruits.
To prevent and remove caterpillars, encourage predators like spiders and birds that will eat them as well as covering your plants with floating row covers.
Azalea Lace Bug
These tiny, black pests are active in the spring months. They hide underneath leaves and suck at the sap which will leave a white or silver mottling on top of the leaf. To get rid of these pests spray the affected plants with a broad-spectrum insecticide on both sides of the leaves and repeat after 5 days.
Bronze Orange Bug
These bugs favour citrus trees and can do serious damage. These insects are often referred to as stink bugs because when they are alerted will spray a bad smelling chemical. Their larvae are round and laid on the underside of leaves.
The insects suck the sap which causes shoots and leaves to die. They can be treated with Confidor or simply spray on a diluted detergent.
These are small reddish-brown pests that move through the mulch and leaf-litter in your garden. They regularly feed on fruit and vegetables. There are insecticides that can be bought to kill these bugs or ‘Beat-a-Bug’ can be used as an organic alternative.
Starting your own backyard vegetable garden is a great way to get fresh, delicious ingredients all year round and can be a great feature for any backyard. For some though, it can be a daunting task actually going out and starting it.
With this basic guide, it is really easy to start your own backyard vegetable garden and the best part is you don’t need a big backyard. There are a variety of ways that it can be put together.
Pick your Location
The amount of sunlight that the vege patch is able to get on a daily basis will determine what vegetables can be planted. For an area that gets 6+ hours of sunlight a day (on average), you can plant all different kinds of plants. However, there are a lot of plants that can be planted in areas of only partial sunlight.
Make sure the chosen location has easy access to water and has good quality soil or is able to have good quality soil added. The chosen location must also be big enough to hold the desired plants.
Determine Your Vegetables
Once you know your location and the amount of sunlight that it will receive you can determine what vegetables you want to plant. If the area gets little sunlight then lettuce, broccoli and beetroot can be grown whilst most root vegetables can do with only a few hours sunlight a day.
For areas that get a lot of sunlight, all vegetables can be grown. Popular choices include tomatoes and cucumbers.
Determine the Type of Planter
There are many different ways that you can plant your vegetables and it doesn’t always require huge amounts of space. If you don’t have the space in your garden but have a large enough veranda or balcony, then the garden can always be don’t in pots. This reduces the number of plants but nevertheless allows you to have them grow and each fresh vegies.
The most popular choice for this is the garden bed or raised garden bed. This involves making a rectangular shape using wooden planks and weed sheeting to create a closed off area for the plants to grow. Once the bed has been installed and filled with nutrient rich soil, the vegetables can be planted.
Plant the Seeds
Planting the seeds is a simple step and the only thing that needs to be remembered is to water them regularly. When planting the seeds, it is important that you turn over the soil to help aerate it and give the plant a chance to grow out into the soil.