Dry weather gardening tips
We have been enjoying a prolonged spell of dry weather, with just one major downpour in the last month or so.
Most people are loving the weather, but it does mean a bit more care in the garden.
Many lawns have been turning yellow – but remember they will recover. Avoid cutting the lawn unless the weeds start to take over, in which case raise the height of the lawn mower blades. If there isn’t a hose pipe ban, water the lawn in the evening.
When plants are not taking enough water, leaves will wilt and become limp. Sometimes they turn yellow or brown, or even fall off. Flowers may shrivel, and you will not have the beautiful summer blooms you hoped for. Check the moistness of the flower beds before watering. If you have panicked and over watered, this can also have the same effect on plants as when they are too dry.
Containers and hanging baskets
Water containers regularly – again, evening is the best time to reduce evaporation. Apply a mulch to the top of hanging baskets and containers to retain moisture in the compost. Small size gravel can be a good option. If you are still planting up, adding water storing crystals is a good idea. These reduce watering by up to four times and release water to plants as needed.
In hot, dry weather, greenhouses, designed to provide additional heat, can become a heat trap, scorching young plants and drying out the soil. Many greenhouses now include vents, but you can also leave the door open in the daytime. Adding shade is a good idea if you can, try placing net shades or using special paint.
The rain will return – this is the UK, after all! So, if you don’t already use water butts, invest in them now. This will give you extra water to use when the next hot spell arrives and protects your garden against hose pipe bans.
Going on holiday
Move plants into the shade if at all possible. Hanging baskets and other containers can be placed into shallow trays that are filled with water. The best solution is to ask a friend or neighbour to pop in daily or as often as they can. Don’t forget to bring them back a gift to say thank you!