Our Aperol Spritz, I mean water, consumption has gone up during the heatwave. But what about your plants? Are they drinking enough, or perhaps a little too much?
Even the most experienced gardeners can struggle to get watering right, especially in the heat. But to help you and your garden navigate this heatwave, gardening expert Danny Clarke has a genius watering trick.
You might know Danny Clarke from his time on BBC’s Instant Gardener or ITV’s This Morning, where he regularly offers his gardening expertise. Speaking to Ideal Home on behalf of Homebase’s Great British Green Up! campaign, Danny explained how to check if your plants need watering using the finger test.
Danny Clarke’s watering trick
‘Just put your finger in the soil, you’ll know if it’s dry,’ says Danny. ‘Just do that test.’
This simple test should help you avoid overwatering your plants. And in Danny’s words, ‘Killing them with too much love.’
However, even before putting your finger in the soil, you can tell if your plants need a good drink according to Danny.
‘You’ve got to keep an eye on [the garden]. Really, being green-fingered, that’s all it is, keeping an eye on your garden,’ he explains. ‘Looking around, make sure that everything is looking as it should because your plants actually speak to you.’
‘They’ll tell you whether they need feeding or drink because they droop. If they droop just give them a bit of water and within a short amount of time they will perk up and they’ll be fine.’
As a general rule of thumb, Danny recommends watering your plants once a week. ‘You don’t want to water too much because the roots will stay on the surface. You’ve got to encourage the plants to go forage for their own water,’ he explains. ‘Treat’em mean to keep ’em keen, that’s what I say.’
The only exception to this rule is pot plants. Pots require a little more care and should be checked on at least once a day, even if it’s been raining.
‘It’s very important to keep them watered. Don’t rely on the rain,’ explains Danny. ‘A lot of people think “oh it’s pouring down with rain, my pots are going to be ok,” but the water never falls where you want it too.’
‘The water can bounce off the leaves and end up on the ground rather than in the soil by the roots. So a bit of water, even after it rains is fine.’
And remember if you’re ever not sure just try the finger in the soil test, and trust your intuition.