With temperatures expected to rocket this coming weekend, our attention turns to preserving and protecting our beloved gardens in hot weather.
Thanks to climate change we’re seeing the hottest temperatures on record in the UK for almost 100 years. While there will be those that immediately think of bathing and BBQs the vast majority of gardeners will be concerned for the fruits of their labour.
For more garden tips read: Easy garden ideas – simple updates to transform your outdoor space
Extreme hot weather can play havoc with the welfare of a well-tended garden. To help, the experts at The Greenhouse People have given us their top tips for keeping our outdoor spaces looking exceptional despite the heat…
Top tips for gardening during hot weather
1. Avoid over-watering plants during a heatwave
‘Hosepipe bans are a common heatwave annoyance, but it can save our plants from over-watering when temperatures rise’. Over-watering can cause them to leach nutrients and cut off the supply of oxygen to the roots.
Top tip: ‘Pick up the watering can and provide focussed watering at the base of the plant, so roots can benefit as quickly as possible.’
Can you use a watering can during a hosepipe ban?
You can use your watering can during a hosepipe ban. Especially if you have a water butt that’s reusing rainwater – to be more environmentally friendly. There is currently no hosepipe ban in place for 2019, reported as of May.
2. Water plants first thing hot weather spells
‘When it’s hot, the best time of day to water is early morning or in the evening. Plants in containers should be watered twice a day, as soil dries out much quicker in pots.’
3. Plant drought-resistant plants
You might also want to consider drought-resistant plants alongside more heat-sensitive varieties to keep your garden looking healthy. Herbs such as rosemary, marjoram and lavender love the heat and their flavour and scent become more intense in the hot summer months.
When should you plant during warmer weather?
‘If you add new plants to your garden in the summer, plant on a cloudy day and water well if the weather is warm. Increase the plant’s chances of surviving the heat by using half mulch half potting mix.’
4. Make sure plants are well-fed
‘The best way to breathe some life back into plants suffering in a heatwave is providing long-lasting moisture and rich nutrients. Most gardeners can appreciate the benefit of mulching.
This can hinder weeds, eliminating the need for hard work when you’d rather be sipping a cool drink in the shade! As well as offer nutrient-rich organic matter to provide a lifeline when things get hot.’
Top tip: Lay down a thick layer of mulch, covering the top few inches of soil – where most root activity occurs. This will keep roots moist and cool. In turn his will help plants grow and reduce the amount of watering required. ‘Vermiculite is a miracle product for gardeners, one that will increase water retention. Vermiculite increases nutrient retention and aerates the soil, resulting in healthier plants.’
5. Only mow lawns once a week
‘Your mowing routine should drop to once a week during periods of drought. Don’t fret if your lawn goes brown and crisp, like many last summer. When the rains and lower temperatures return it’ll soon recover.’
Top tip: When mowing, adjust your blade to a higher setting to ensure grass stems provide maximum shade to the soil. Afterwards, leave the cuttings instead of raking to provide shade and to avoid damaging your lawn.
How often should I water the lawn during hot weather?
‘A well-established lawn should require minimal watering in increased temperatures.’
More garden inspiration: Greenhouse ideas – traditional and new ways to use your garden glass house
Thanks to the experts we intend to keep our gardens great this summer.