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What's Hot in your Garden this Week? 10 Summer Suggestions...
It's all about water, what with the hot weather and all that. We are SO lucky here in the UK to have all types of weather. And just for the moment it's gloriously HOT! Do you need to water your garden? It depends on the plants. Some are like camels - without the spitty habit.
Some plants, however, look like cooked spinach in the heat. They need moisture around the upper parts of their roots in order to keep them hydrated. Take Hydrangeas, for example. They are very clever plants in that they can communicate. When the soil dries out too much for their liking they will droop like a sad man's smile. You can almost hear them calling "water...water...water"...
look here to find more. There are many plants with adaptations for hot weather. Silvery foliage and hairy leaves are just two. Take a
If, how and when to water.
And how to plan for better things in the future...
- Firstly: dig a tiny hole with a trowel. You need only go down about 3cms. If the soil is moist, you don't need to water today. Try again tomorrow.
- Secondly: Lift up your pots. You will be able to tell if they are dry. They will be as light as air (almost). Try it. Water a pot well and pick it up. Leave it for a day or two in hot weather and lift it again. Hey presto, an instant water-gauge. Of course, pots need more water than soil in the garden. They tend to dry out quite quickly.
- Thirdly, look at your plants for clues. If they look luscious and perky, they are happy in the hot weather for the time being.
- Next: make sure you water thoroughly when you have decided the time is right. Water the garden deeply but infrequently. It's learning time for plants. You are teaching them to send out their roots to look for water on their own and your plants will grow stronger as a result.
- When should you water? Some say morning, others say evening. There's a danger of mildew taking hold if you opt for the latter. Water early morning before the sun has got his hat on and your plants will start the day with a spring in their stalks.
- Water the soil, not the plant. Make sure the water gets right down to the roots and try not to get it onto the foliage or flowers as it might scorch them in hot weather. Make a trough or a dip in the soil so it retains the moisture rather than simply running off over the surface.
- Take preventative measures. Mulch, mulch, mulch! It conserves the moisture in the soil, saving you time and effort and giving your plants a better environment. It's great for biodiversity too.
- Pre-empt a hosepipe ban by saving water in your home. Keep your washing up water (use environmentally-friendly products so they won't harm the garden). Catch your bath water and use it when it's cool. Use any 'grey water' you can get your hands on.
- Look around your garden and work out where you might need shade in future. Hot weather is a great planning aid. You can plant trees and larger shrubs in the autumn ready to provide shade next year and beyond. Never miss the opportunity for improvement!
- Most importantly... position a garden seat; a bench or even a swing in a patch of shady paradise and make sure you enjoy the beautiful weather. It doesn't happen very often so have a little break.
So there we have it. 10 summer suggestions for the hot weather.
Just one more to add. Want to feel cool? Introduce a water feature. Buy one with a pump and it will recycle the water within its own reservoir - providing a bird and beastie habitat and watering hole too. The sound and smell of water will make you feel instantly cool.