If you are wilting in this heat along with your garden, then you will want to know how best to look after it. In extreme weather conditions such as the recent heatwave we have experienced, plants require a lot of care and attention. Water is a vital part to their survival, so we have put together a set of top tips on how best to water your garden.
1) Water late in the evening or early in the morning: It makes much more sense to water in cooler conditions as less water evaporates than when watering hot soil during the day. Watering at these times also allows plants to sufficiently supply themselves with water before the next day’s heat.
2) Avoid watering leaves: Try not to wet the leaves of plants as this may result in them becoming diseased. Therefore, it is advisable to focus on the roots of the plant. Remember that it’s the roots that need access to water, not the leaves.
3) Avoid waterlogging: While it may be tempting to flood your flowerbeds in a desperate attempt to revitalise your plants, the damage you could do is just not worth it. Waterlogging suppresses the breathing air of the roots out of the soil and the root cells drown without oxygen. So even though you may think lots of water is needed, in actual fact it could kill your flowers.
4) Don’t waste water on your lawn: Lawns require great quantities of water for thorough irrigation, and this is a questionable use of a scarce resource. Instead if watering in dry periods, mow less closely and less frequently. Brown patches usually recover when the autumn rains return.
5) Use hoses and watering cans: These offer a much more controlled way of watering rather than the scatter gun approach of a sprinkler. Hoses and watering cans can be used to aim specifically at the stem bases beneath the foliage canopy, leaving the surrounding soil dry. This helps to limit weed problems and ensures all the water goes where it’s required.
6) Water pots thoroughly: When looking at your dry flowerbeds, it can be very easy to forget about any pots or hanging baskets you have around the garden or on your patio. The summer months are the most critical period for them as well and should not be neglected. For these plants, the compost looking paler or feeling dry to the touch and the pot becoming lighter in weight are all signs that the compost is beginning to dry and is in need of water.
7) Slower watering is usually more effective: Watering is of no value if the water runs down outside of the root hall, leaving the roots at the core of the plant dry. This can happen if you water too quickly or apply too much water at once. Therefore it is best to water slowly, giving the plant time to absorb water before adding any extra.
By following these tips the watering will be in hand and under control, allowing you to sit back and watch your garden come to life.
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