Summer has well and truly arrived, bringing with it warmer weather and the opportunity to enjoy our gardens more often. Add in the fact that we’re all in the habit of using our gardens to socialise these days, and it’s definitely a good idea to keep your garden looking good at this time of year.
Easy ways to keep your garden looking good all summer long
If your garden could do with a boost, there are lots of easy things you can do to spruce it up and keep it looking good all summer long. Take a look at these summer garden tips to get you started – and if you need some more inspiration you’ll find plenty of ideas and great garden products in Very’s Garden Zone.
One of the biggest differences you can make to your garden in summer is to stay on top of the watering.
Don’t waste time watering little and often. Doing this will encourage weeds and also cause plants to form roots near the surface of the soil, which makes them vulnerable. Instead, water the soil surrounding your plants really thoroughly, making little pools around them so the water can really soak in. Watering in this way will support your plants for much longer in summer heat, so you’ll also need to water less often – giving you more time to sit back and enjoy summer in the garden.
For more tips on effective garden watering in summer check out this post.
Feed your plants
Another easy way to get the best out of your summer plants is to feed them regularly. This is particularly important for plants grown in containers, as they quickly exhaust the nutrients in their compost.
A general purpose plant food will be suitable for most plants, but if you’re growing fruit and veg make sure you use a plant food that’s designed specifically for edible plants. The instructions on the packet will tell you how often you should feed your plants; set yourself a diary reminder so you don’t forget!
Add instant colour
As summer progresses and some plants finish flowering, you might find your garden starts to look less colourful. Summer bedding plants are a brilliant, low-cost way to add instant colour and fill in any gaps. They also work really well for container gardening – position your pots near your outdoor seating or at your front door to get the maximum benefit from their showy blooms.
Garden centres, DIY shops and online garden suppliers will have a wide range of summer garden plants right now. If you’re planting in containers and hanging baskets, try to use good quality compost. Remember also to feed your plants in hanging flower baskets regularly to keep them looking good.
Refresh your garden furniture
Old, tired garden furniture can really influence how smart your garden looks. Investing in a new dining set, outdoor sofa, parasol or deckchairs can make the world of difference, and help you to create a welcoming space for your family and guests to enjoy.
If your garden furniture is still in reasonable condition, a quick coat of wood stain or paint is an easy way to give it a new lease of life. You might even just need to clean garden furniture to get it looking good again. Add in a few new cushions, and perhaps a throw or fire pit for chillier evenings, and you can quickly make your whole seating area more stylish and inviting.
Deadhead summer flowering plants
This is a clever trick that will really help to increase the amount of flowers your plants produce, and you can do it whenever you have a few spare minutes for summer gardening. Deadheading involves removing any flowers that are dead, drooping or forming seeds; doing this stops the plant setting seed, so it produces more flowers in summer.
To deadhead a plant, simply snip or pinch the flower off below the base. Don’t just pull the petals off, as this may leave the seed-forming part intact.
Keep the patio clean
If you have a patio or decked area in your garden, you’re probably using it a lot at this time of year. These areas can quickly accumulate dust, dirt and plant debris, so a quick tidy-up is an easy way to make the garden look smarter. A sweep and a good hose down (or use a pressure washer if you have one) will quickly get things clean; you might also like to give the garden furniture a once-over at the same time.
Control the weeds
Warmer weather and the odd rain shower can make weeds grow super-fast. Weeds will steal nutrients and space from your plants, and of course weeds can also spoil the look of your garden.
When it comes to weeding in a summer garden, little and often is the way to go. Spend a few minutes here and there keeping on top of new weeds, and you’ll stop things getting out of control and keep the garden looking neat. You’ll also avoid a big weeding job later in the year.
Summer lawn care
Lawns can take a battering in summer, thanks to hot, dry weather and regular use. It’s a good idea to raise your lawnmower blades a little if the ground is really dry; keeping the grass slightly longer puts less strain on it. Don’t panic if your lawn is looking quite yellow though; even the most parched grass will quickly recover when it rains. You can of course water your lawn regularly if you’d like to speed up the re-greening process; a garden sprinkler is a great option here.
A clever hack to make a tired lawn look better is to trim the edges. This is a quick garden job that will instantly make the grass look neater.
Organise holiday plant care
If you’re going away over the summer and don’t want to come home to a parched garden full of struggling plants, you need to arrange some plant babysitting.
You could ask a friend or neighbour to pop round and do some watering, or set up an automatic watering system that drip-feeds your plants from a tap or water butt. If neither of these is an option, move your potted plants to a shady spot, put trays under them, and fill with water on the day you leave. Give the whole garden a really good soak on this day as well. Remember to sort out summer plant care for your houseplants too – my holiday houseplant care post has lots of tips for keeping them alive while you’re away.
Get ready for guests
Last but not least, make sure your garden is ready for outdoor entertaining!
Check your parasol works properly, keep the barbecue clean, and wipe down tables and chairs regularly. You might also like to add some new lights to your garden, and it’s definitely a good idea to buy some citronella candles, to help keep those balmy summer evenings insect-free.
More summer gardening tips
Hopefully these summer gardening tips will help you to keep your garden looking good all summer long, and give you more time to sit back, relax and enjoy the view – and ideally some sunshine!
What’s your top summer gardening tip for making the garden look great?