Heatwave Hacks: 6 Garden Musts for a Hot, Dry August

During July, a nationwide heatwave climbed to levels that most of us didn’t think possible, with record-breaking high temperatures recorded in areas across the country. The first-ever Met Office red warning was released for extreme weather, with temperatures in Lincolnshire climbing above 40°c.

Thankfully, during August, temperatures are not expected to reach the same dizzy heights as July. We can still expect some sunny days, with temperatures in the high 20s not uncommon around the UK. If the hot, dry weather consistently persists, however, we could be facing an August drought. Regardless, you’ll want your garden to be looking perfect, and with that thought in mind, the garden experts at Hayter Mowers have provided six key tips to ensure your garden is ready for the next heatwave.

Key Points

  • It’s important to find the balance between watering your garden and over-watering, which can drown the grass.
  • Watering your lawn early in the day is recommended, to avoid watering during the hottest portion of the day.
  • Over-fertilising your lawn can lead to scorched grass, burned roots and change the pH level in your soil.
  • Cutting your grass to 3-4 inches will help your grass retain water and encourage deep root growth.
  • Cutting your grass to this length will also help you to achieve a classic, well-defined striped lawn.
  • Keeping your lawn free of objects such as children’s toys will help it to grow evenly and prevent patchiness.
  • Seasonal plants will help add a pop of colour to your garden – shrubs like lavender, hebe and halimium are perfect for a summer heatwave due to their drought-resistance.
  • Pests such as greenflies and blackflies can be warded off by planting basil or spraying plants with a spray of diluted soap and water.

Feed Your Turf

The best way to ensure your lawn remains in tip-top condition over the summer months is to keep it watered. Given the hot, dry weather we’re faced with in August, keeping your lawn consistently watered and fed is even more crucial than ever. Make sure your turf is also getting enough nutrients, to keep it looking lush and green in the dry heat.

If you can, water your lawn every day, but be careful not to drown the grass. It’s also important that you don’t water your lawn during the hottest part of the day – try and water it first thing in the morning. If possible, use a sprinkler to ensure the even distribution of water across your lawn – a patchy lawn can easily detract from your garden’s aesthetic.

Don’t Over-Fertilise

If your grass is looking a little dry and patchy, it can be tempting to douse it in fertiliser. However, it’s important that you fertilise in moderation – with proper watering, your lawn shouldn’t need extensive fertilisation, and over-fertilisation can do more harm than good!

Fertilisation is an important part of achieving a lush, thick lawn. Doing so helps prevent weeds, moss and diseases, as well as improving your grass’s growth rate. However, over-fertilising can result in your grass becoming scorched, your roots becoming burned, and a changed pH level in the soil, which could reduce your grass’s ability to absorb nutrients.   

Keep Your Lawn Tidy

If you have children, chances are they’ll be enjoying the school holidays outside in the sun! However, by tidying away toys when not in use, you can help ensure the even growth of your lawn. Smaller playthings shouldn’t affect your lawn’s growth, but larger equipment such as slides and trampolines can inhibit your grass growing evenly.

Be wary of paddling pools too: if a pool is left on the lawn, it will prevent the relevant area of grass from receiving sufficient sunlight. If you’ve experienced rainfall in your area in early August, try to keep your kids from playing football on the wet grass, as this can cause muddy patches that damage the turf.

Choose The Right Plants

If you feel you’ve already got your lawn looking as good as it can be, the best way to take your garden to the next level is by focusing on the area around your lawn. By choosing the right plants, you can add a pop of colour to your garden, and nicely accentuate your lawn. It’s key that you choose summer-ready plants that suit the dry season – so be choosy!

Shrubs like lavender, hebe and halimium are perfect for adding that bright colour to your garden, and are perfect choices for warmer weather. Their light colour reflects harsh sunlight, and lavender especially encourages bees to make a home in your garden. By pairing the right plants with the right lawn, you can enjoy a complete garden.

Pest Control

As the weather heats up, you may have noticed more insects in your garden. Expect to see greenflies and blackflies in abundance, as they love the temperate summer climate. These aphids can stunt the growth of your plants across your garden, and invite disease which could decimate all your hard work.

Thankfully, there’s a few simple methods you can use to discourage these pests from taking up residence in your garden. Try combining diluted soap or washing-up liquid in a spray bottle and spraying directly onto your plants. Planting fresh basil can also help to ward off unwanted greenflies and blackflies, and is handy to add that fresh flavour to your cooking!

Mower Maintenance

Even with the best lawncare and prep methods available, your lawn will still be unruly unless you get a quality cut from your lawnmower. With that thought in mind, it’s crucial to ensure your mower is operating at optimum capacity, especially if it’s spent winter locked away in the garage. If you’re the owner of a Hayter Mower, it should be serviced once a year to ensure optimum performance.

Sharpening the blades on your mower helps achieve a crisp, uniform cut across your lawn, and ensures you aren’t damaging the grass with blunt blades. When mowing, keeping your grass slightly longer can result in better results.

A slightly higher cut (3-4 inches) will help your grass retain water and encourage a deeper root growth. It will also enable you to achieve those well-defined lawn stripes that every garden owner strives for. The Hayter Harrier™ 41 series of mowers boast seven height-of-cut settings, and can be used to cut and collect or discharge your clippings.

With the drought slated to take place during August, now is the perfect time to get out in the garden and start prepping! Follow the tips above to ensure that your garden is colourful and summery, and your lawn is thick, green, and immaculately kept.

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