While gardening can be a fun yearly activity, the summer is undoubtedly the most enjoyable period for our plants. Not only are flowers able to absorb a surplus of nutrients needed through photosynthesis, but waterfall rates can be controlled manually through occasional watering throughout the day.
With temperatures hotting up in the summer period, many places around the world are preparing for heatwaves. Some of us love the hot weather and cannot wait to get out there and tend to the greenery, while others are simply dreading it. No matter what side of the fence you fall on, you’ll need to keep your beloved garden safe.
If you’re in need of some defences, have a read through our guide on protecting your garden and its furniture from a heatwave.
How to Protect Plants From Heat
While us humans can simply walk inside and into the shade, the same can’t be said for our plants. Of course, sunlight exposure is needed for flowers and grass to grow correctly, but there can be such a thing as too much heat.
Here’s how to protect your plants from heat.
Water at the Right Time
Looking out at your sun-baked garden, it can be tempting to top up your plants’ water supply every so often. In a heatwave, the worst time to water plants is in the middle of the day, as this risks the soil drying out too quickly, preventing your plants from absorbing crucial nutrients.
Instead, try to top your plants up generously in the early morning and late afternoon. That way, your soil will hold more water for longer, giving your plants a much-needed drink.
Mulch is an invaluable tool to any gardener’s arsenal, especially during a heatwave. So, what is mulch used for? As we know, soil dries out much faster during hotter periods, which can lead to our plants being unable to get what they need to survive. As a protective barrier, mulch can be applied over the top of surface soil to protect it from the harsh UV rays and heat throughout the day.
Another benefit of mulch is that it significantly reduces evaporation rates after watering, meaning you won’t need to drench your plants in water in the short timeframes that you have.
There are loads of different types of mulching out there, but the best one for a heatwave would be dry grass clippings. These are readily available and do a great job at protecting your soil thanks to a harsh exterior.
Bring Pots Into the Shade
While fixed plants are left to fend for themselves, there’s a bit more freedom with potted plants. In serious heat, you may wish to consider moving your potted plants in to a shaded section of your garden. This not only keeps them from getting too hot, but allows you to have even better access for watering purposes.
Use Other Plants for Shade
If your fixed-position plants are really suffering in the heat, a good thing to do would be to try and use other larger plants as makeshift shading. Bushes and ferns are great candidates for this, shading plants from sun rays thanks to a large surface area that provides plenty of cover for your more delicate plants and flowers.
Monitor Grass Levels
Mowing the lawn can be an arduous task, especially in the summer. However, you shouldn’t let this put you off giving your grass a trim. Just be sure to keep it long enough so that the soil underneath isn’t overtly exposed.
We recommend a length of between 3-5” at the very least. At this height, your grass will be able to cast a shadow over other parts of your garden where flowers and plants usually grow, giving extra protection in hotter periods.
Keeping Garden Furniture Safe
Of course, it’s not just our plants that need protecting from extreme heat. Even our garden furniture needs some looking after in such hot circumstances. Here’s how to protect your garden furniture from a heatwave:
Use Furniture Covers
Perhaps the most obvious solution to keeping your garden furniture safe is to use some protective covers. Such things can be bought with new furniture or applied retroactively. Though, it’s worth mentioning that tailored solutions that are fit to shape are often much more effective, leaving much less opportunities for a poor fit.
At Kettler, we offer many different kinds of protective covers for our furniture ranges. Each one is cut to a specific size, ensuring long-lasting protection year-round. Thankfully, our furniture is completely UV protected to fight back against the harsh ways of the sun. If yours isn’t, covers do a wonderful job of providing protection.
Be sure to also look out for any glass surfaces. Covering these with tabletops ensure that they don’t incur any heat damage over time. Just make sure the coverings you choose are strong enough to also protect the glass underneath.
Move to the Shade
This point goes without saying, but not all garden furniture is created equally. Some are able to withstand rainstorms and extreme heat, and others, not so much.
So, take a safe bet with your furniture and consider moving it out of direct sunlight. Not only does this prevent gradual UV damage, it keeps your furniture looking great by avoiding colour degradation.
Of course, moving furniture around is a bit of a hassle, so you may want to invest in some top-quality UV protected furniture to avoid this. Did you know that all Kettler furniture is UV resistant? Browse all our collections today and cut down the heavy lifting.
Another option would be to pick up an outdoor parasol to create some manoeuvrable shade
How to Keep Yourself Safe in the Garden During A Heatwave
While some of us pride ourselves on our possessions, it’s important to not forget about our own health. Here’s a few ways to fight back against a heatwave:
Keep the Temperature Down
Although sun exposure is a real problem, the biggest issue with a heatwave is, of course, the heat.
Our bodies like to regulate our internal temperature to keep our organs ticking along nicely. Though, when the heat rises, it gets a bit more difficult. To stay cool, why not invest in a high quality pedestal fan and finally ditch that ancient desk one you’ve had knocking about for years?
Restrict Outdoor Time
While this point may sound a little uneventful, it’s important to keep tabs on how much time you spend gardening during a heatwave. Generally, it’s advised to limit the amount of time you spend doing strenuous activities outside while the heat is up. This is to help avoid things like heat stroke.
All of this means that you should only go outside to garden if it’s absolutely necessary.
Drink Plenty of Water
This goes without saying, but the number one way to keep yourself safe in a heatwave is to drink loads of water. Extra heat means extra sweat, leaving our bodies at risk of becoming severely dehydrated.
Coupled with the additional tasks involved with gardening, and you’ve got a real recipe for some serious thirst.
If you do make the decision to venture out and tend to your garden, you’ll want to make sure your body is completely protected from harsh rays. This tip goes handy with moving plants to shaded areas, as doing so keeps them and you safe from excessive sunlight exposure. Sun cream is another vitally important piece of keeping yourself safe. Be sure to cover yourself head to toe to avoid skin burns throughout the day.
If you don’t have much shade, try bringing some potted plants in doors and tending to them there. While it may be a big ask, your plants will thank you by blossoming greatly thanks to your love and care.
Keep Your Garden Looking Great
With your outdoor safety in check, you can now start piecing together the garden of your dreams.
At Kettler, we stock a whole host of garden furniture to help create a relaxing space outdoors. From seating to dining spaces, there’s a look to suit everyone… whatever the weather.
Browse today and start designing the garden of your dreams.