‘Key thing’ to remember when watering plants during a heatwave before ‘it’s too late’08/06/2022
UK weather: Heatwave expected as high pressure moves in
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With southeast England and East Anglia seeing the driest July on record, homeowners need to be preparing for a drought in the coming days Temperatures of over 35 degrees will continue throughout August and following a year with significantly less rainfall (25 percent less than average), the Met Office has advised people to take precautions against a potential drought. Gardens are the parts of our homes most at risk during heatwaves and dry weather.
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For this reason, Jack Sutcliffe, founder of shed manufacturer at Power Shed, said: “With more heatwaves coming our way, the likelihood of droughts across the UK is increasing fast.
“It’s important you take the necessary steps early to protect your plants or it can be too late for them to recover. We recommend following this advice so you can relax in the hot weather knowing your garden is protected.”
The expert has shared his top tips to help you protect your garden.
Water your plants early in the morning
Water is crucial to keeping gardens healthy and thriving, especially now during the hot weather.
Jack explained: “The key thing when it comes to watering plants in a drought is to do it less frequently but very thoroughly, as this will get the soil to stay moist for longer.
“Early morning is the best time of day to water your garden as this will give the soil the best chance to absorb as much moisture as possible before the strong sunshine evaporates it.”
While many gardening pros argue that gardens can be watered in the evenings, Jack explained that this is a “less appropriate” time for watering “simply because water on leaves overnight can cause fungi to develop”.
Get the right pots for your plants
Just as important as watering your plants, choosing the right pots is also vital.
The expert said: “Getting the right pots is key in ensuring your garden stays hydrated for as long as possible.”
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For example, an unsealed terracotta allows water to evaporate quickly from the soil, which leads to “plants drying out and dying much sooner”.
Instead Jack advised: “The best solution for this is to either get an already sealed terracotta pot or seal it with a specialised sealer.
“The same goes for black plastic pots that will attract heat due to their colour.”
Choose light-coloured options to reflect the sunlight instead.
Help the soil stay moist
The “biggest risk” to plants in high temperatures is the soil drying out, according to the gardening pro.
Gardeners first line of defence against this should be to use a layer of mulch around plants to help the soil stay moist after watering.
There are many different mulch materials gardeners can use during a heatwave – dry grass clippings from your lawn are a great option.
Add compost to your plants
To increase the soil’s capacity to hold water, compost is also a great addition to your plants and pots.
Jack explained: “Not only is this a good way to prepare for a drought but It can also protect your garden against heavy downpours.
“Although these are usually rare in summer, climate watchers predict a few bad storms, so compost is the best solution to protect your plans from these two extremes.”
Mow your lawn less
When you mow your lawn, more water is lost than usual.
Reducing the frequency of lawn mowing during times of drought, is actually what will help to retain water, says the expert.
He advised: “On hot days, make sure to mow your lawn during the coolest part of the day.
“Another good tip for mowing during a heatwave is to leave the clippings on the ground for longer and raise the height of your mower, as taller grass protects the soil and helps reduce water loss.”
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