Maximizing your garden’s potential: summer care tips

Belgium’s summer, with its warm days and occasional rain showers, offers a unique environment for gardens to flourish. However, the season also brings challenges that can affect the health and beauty of your outdoor space. By understanding these challenges and implementing the right care strategies, you can ensure that your garden remains vibrant and thriving throughout the summer months.

Ries Bosch

1. The Pitfalls of Overwatering

One of the most common misconceptions during the summer months is the need for excessive watering. While it’s tempting to drench your plants frequently, thinking the scorching sun is drying them out, overwatering can be detrimental. Excessive moisture can lead to root rot and promote the growth of fungal diseases. Instead, adopt a consistent watering schedule, ensuring the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Using mulch can also help retain soil moisture and reduce the frequency of watering.

2. The Art of Lawn Mowing

Your lawn is a significant part of your garden, and its care during summer is crucial. Over-mowing can strip the lawn of its protective layer, making it susceptible to drought and diseases. Instead of cutting it too short, maintain a slightly taller grass length. This practice not only helps in retaining soil moisture but also provides a shield against the intense summer sun.

3. The Summer Pest Watch

Summer in Belgium sees a surge in garden pests. Aphids, for instance, become highly active, draining plants of their essential nutrients. Slugs and snails, on the other hand, thrive in the humid conditions, feasting on your vegetables and flowering plants. Combat these pests by introducing natural predators like ladybugs for aphids and hedgehogs for slugs and snails. Additionally, consider using soap-based solutions as a deterrent, ensuring a minimal environmental impact.

4. Embracing Native Plants

Belgium boasts a rich variety of native plants that are well-suited for its summer climate. Plants like Broom (Cytisus scoparius) and Pedunculate Oak (Quercus robur) are not only resilient but also require minimal maintenance. These native species have evolved to thrive in local conditions, making them less prone to pest attacks. However, even these hardy plants need attention. Regular watering, fertilization, and the addition of organic compost can significantly boost their health and growth.

5. Sun Protection for Plants

Just as we need sunscreen to protect our skin from harmful UV rays, many plants require protection from the intense summer sun. Consider installing shade sails or similar structures to shield your plants from sun damage. These protective measures can prevent leaf scorching and ensure that your plants remain vibrant throughout the season.

Conclusion: A Flourishing Summer Garden

With the right care and attention, your Belgian garden can be a lush oasis even in the height of summer. By understanding the unique challenges of the season and implementing these care tips, you can enjoy a garden that’s not only beautiful but also healthy and resilient.