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Handling the Heatwave – Garden Watering

Published: 18th July, 2018

automatic watering systemCor what a scorcher of a summer! And the current heatwave seems to be showing no signs of abating. Though many of us here in the UK are loving the unusual weather, our garden plants are not so keen. The challenge for us gardeners is to keep plants alive and healthy as the temperatures continue to soar and the rain stays away.

Here are our tips for watering and liquid feeding your plants to help them through this long hot summer.

The key is to know when to water and how much. Water in early morning or early evening, outside the heat of the day, to avoid evaporation and keep the soil moist for longer. The worst time to water is midday. If you get water on the leaves when the sun is at its strongest, the droplets of water will act as mini-magnifying glasses and burn the leaves and promote fungal diseases.

Focus your watering first on newly planted garden plants and containers as they are most vulnerable. Drench them thoroughly. Hanging baskets and pots in full sun may well need watering twice a day in very hot periods. Give any vegetable plants plenty of water, too.

Foliar feeds applied via a watering can to the leaves of plants should help revive stressed and wilting plants. Placing trays or saucers under them will stop precious water draining away and give them a reservoir to draw from.  You could also temporarily move containers into the shade when it gets exceptionally hot.

Next give large shrubs a long slow drenching at soil level around each plant rather than at the leaves. The likes of Camellias and Hydrangeas hate hot roots.

A factor to consider when deciding how often to water is to water slowly, deeply but less frequently, rather than a little and often. That way the water gets down to the base of the plants and the roots where it needs it the most.

If you haven’t already done so, adding a layer of mulch will help hold in moisture as well as acting as a protective layer of sun shade to keep plant roots cool.

Of course, every gardener faces the dilemma each summer of how to water the garden while they are away on holidays. If you haven’t got an obliging neighbour to take care of things for you, a drip irrigation system on a timer is an ideal option. In fact, holiday or not, it’s a perfect way to water, as you get a nice slow drip which soaks through deep to the roots of your plants rather than running away on the surface. If it is being installed to cover a holiday period, make sure you test out the system before you go away!

Remember watering is not feeding and most plants will need supplementary feeds during the summer when they are at their hungriest. Liquid plant food, such as Miracle Gro should be applied every couple of weeks. These feeds have been designed to nourish flowers, fruits, vegetables, shrubs and even the lawn and will encourage your plants to grow faster, stronger and healthier.

We hope that you find our tips to keep your garden fresh and healthy in the heat helpful.

Henry Street stocks an extensive range of Gardena irrigation systems to make watering your garden this summer as easy as ABC. We also have sprinklers, hoses, watering cans and everything else needed to keep your garden green…

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