World of Hedges

As summer temperatures rise, maintaining the health and appearance of your hedges can become a challenge. However, with the right techniques and a little extra attention, you can ensure your hedges thrive even in the hottest months. Here are some essential tips on how to care for your hedges during a hot summer.

1. Watering Wisely

Water is crucial for hedges during hot weather. However, it’s not just about quantity but also timing and method. Water your hedges early in the morning or late in the evening to minimise evaporation. Aim to water the soil rather than the foliage, as wet leaves can encourage fungal diseases. Deep watering is more effective than frequent light watering, as it encourages the roots to grow deeper into the soil, making the plants more resilient to drought.

2. Mulching

Mulching is a fantastic way to retain soil moisture and keep roots cool. Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or compost, around the base of your hedges. This not only conserves moisture but also suppresses weeds and improves soil health as it decomposes. Ensure the mulch is spread evenly and avoid piling it against the stems of the plants, as this can lead to rot.

3. Pruning Practices

Summer pruning is essential to maintain the shape and health of your hedges. However, during extreme heat, it’s important to be gentle. Avoid heavy pruning, as this can stress the plants. Instead, focus on light trimming to remove dead or damaged branches. This helps improve air circulation within the hedge, reducing the risk of pests and diseases. Always use sharp, clean tools to make precise cuts and minimise damage to the plants.

4. Feeding Your Hedges

Hot weather can take a toll on the nutrient levels in the soil. Feeding your hedges with a balanced fertiliser can help them cope with the stress of summer heat. Opt for a slow-release fertiliser to provide a steady supply of nutrients over time. Be careful not to over-fertilise, as this can lead to excessive growth, which in turn requires more water and maintenance.

5. Providing Shade

If possible, provide some temporary shade to your hedges during the hottest part of the day. This can be done using shade cloths or even strategically placing garden furniture or umbrellas. While this may not be feasible for larger hedges, it can be particularly beneficial for newly planted or more delicate species.

6. Inspect Regularly

Regular inspections are vital during hot weather. Check your hedges for signs of stress, such as wilting, yellowing leaves, or dry, brittle branches. Early detection of problems allows for prompt action, whether it’s adjusting watering schedules, applying treatments for pests or diseases, or providing extra nutrients.

7. Soil Health

Healthy soil is the foundation of a thriving hedge. During summer, soil can become compacted and lose its structure. Aerate the soil around your hedges to improve water infiltration and root growth. You can use a garden fork to gently loosen the soil without disturbing the roots.

8. Dealing with Pests and Diseases

Hot, dry conditions can sometimes exacerbate pest and disease problems. Keep an eye out for common issues such as aphids, spider mites, and fungal diseases. Use organic pest control methods where possible, such as neem oil or insecticidal soaps, to minimise harm to beneficial insects and the environment.


Caring for your hedges in a hot summer requires a combination of attentive watering, mulching, careful pruning, and regular monitoring. By following these tips, you can help your hedges not only survive but thrive despite the challenging conditions. With a little extra effort, your garden can remain a lush, green haven throughout the summer months.