Top tips for hot weather…….
When it’s really hot, you may be worried about what will happen to your plants and lawn. The first thing to say is don’t panic! Hot weather is nothing new and gardeners around the country have developed some great ways of handling extreme temperatures. Here are a few simple tips for you this week:
1) Water frequently but at the right time of day. It’s best to water first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Resist the temptation to water in full sunlight during the day as this can often lead to leaf burn.
2) Don’t panic into watering your lawn. Lawns are resilient beasts and well adapted to surviving without water for some time. Many experienced gardeners never water their lawns – if they go brown they will recover when rain eventually arrives.
3) Help your soil retain moisture. You can do this by adding organic matter to your beds – a 5cm mulch will do a lot to prevent moisture loss.
4) Don’t shallow water. By which we mean giving your plants a small amount of water that doesn’t penetrate very deeply. This will only encourage shallow roots. Much better to give a lengthier water less frequently.
5) Don’t dig. It’s not good for your back and muscles trying to get through dry, hard ground, but more importantly it will damage soil structure, lead to moisture loss and can damage plant roots.
6) Know your vegetables. Surface rooting veg e.g. lettuce and tomatoes will need watering more frequently than deeper rooting crops such as carrots and potatoes.
7) Move potted plants to a more shaded area if possible. Plants in pots (particularly terracotta ones) can overheat and suffer in full sunlight if left for too long.
8)Use shade netting. Just as you can move pots to shaded areas, you can also protect plants in beds by using shade netting to cover them on the hottest weather.
9) Watch young plants carefully. Young plants need to establish their root systems – so during a heatwave you will need to watch over them – just as you would a young child!
10) Use rainwater if possible. A water butt is a great addition to any garden. Rainwater is better for plants and it saves you money.We hope these tips will help. If you want any more advice please feel free to pop in and see at the Plant Centre.