The weather is heating up and summer just around the corner. While the summer months are generally lots of fun for us humans – think warm days, balmy evenings and a selection of exciting social events; it can be a tough time for your backyard.
Long hot days, extra hours of sun and irregular rainfall can cause the plants in your backyard to struggle or die, if the conditions become too extreme. In saying this, there are many things you can do and technologies you can implement to ensure your backyard is kept happy and healthy over the warmer months.
Here are 5 ways to keep your Gold Coast backyard in tip top shape throughout summer…
1. Smart Irrigation
Plants need water to survive; that’s a fact. With most plants made up of over 90% water, it’s integral that you keep them hydrated year-round, but particularly in summer when the sun and hot air will dry them out more quickly.
One of the best ways to ensure your plants receive enough water, and at the right time of day, is by integrating a smart irrigation system into your backyard. In addition to reducing effort on your part, a smart irrigation system will eliminate water wastage and the chance of overwatering. These systems can be set up to water plants early in the morning or later in the evening when the weather is cooler, so less water is lost through evaporation.
2. Create Hydrozones
Hydrozoning is a great way to conserve water and give your plants the best chance of success. This involves creating separate areas in your backyard where plants are grouped together based on their water, sun and soil requirements.
This also makes things easier when it comes to smart irrigation as all plants in the same area will have the same watering needs. With all plants receiving the optimal amount of moisture at exactly the right time of day, your backyard will be kept happy and healthy no matter how hot the day.
3. Mow Carefully
During summer, it’s important to think carefully about when and how you mow your lawn. Throughout this time your lawn is under lots of stress from heat, a potential lack of water and harsh sunlight. Mowing in summer is all about alleviating this stress and encouraging your lawn to continue growing despite it.
It’s a good idea to increase your mower height in summer to provide more shade to the soil, reduce evaporation and encourage deeper roots. Make sure your mower blades are sharp as dull blades will chop roughly at the grass, leaving ends shaggy and dead. This means the grass will have to focus more energy on repairing itself, rather than conserving energy in the heat. It’s also recommended to mow during the coolest part of the day, so your freshly cut lawn doesn’t dry out.
4. Use More Mulch
Mulch has a myriad of benefits for your backyard, the first being that it’s clean and tidy to look at. Mulch is also great for maintaining a healthy soil – keeping it cool and protected from weeds. It will slow evaporation, protect roots from overheating and retain moisture underneath, which can be very handy in summer.
The other great thing about mulch is that it doesn’t have to be expensive – in fact, you can make it yourself. Collect the grass from your lawnmower and combine with leaves or scrunched-up newspaper for a quick and easy DIY mulch. Straw, bark or pebbles can also work as stylish and functional mulch.
5. Improve Soil Quality
Whether you’re adding new plants in summer or winter, you should always consider the soil quality of your backyard. Having a rich, high-quality soil will give your garden the best chance of success when the conditions do become hot and dry. Adding organic matter, compost or soil improver will help to improve your soils water holding capacity and the transfer of nutrients to your plants.
A healthy soil, full of organic matter, worms and other helpful organisms will give your backyard the best chance of success heading into the long summer days and nights ahead.
If you want to know more about how to keep your backyard happy through summer, or if you’re ready to get started designing a backyard for your luxury custom home, get in touch with the Gold Coast’s expert home building team, McGowan Homes today!