WOW it’s hot, summer has finally arrived, the temperatures are soaring and the plants need watering again! Watering your garden can be time consuming and even expensive if you have a water meter, here are our top tips for looking after your garden in hot weather.
Collecting and storing water
Water butts are ideal for storing rainwater from greenhouses, sheds and house roofs; they are invaluable on allotments and situations where there may not be an outside tap. Guttering can be easily added to collect rainwater from sloping roofs and rainwater diverters attached to down pipes to collect valuable rainwater that would normally disappear down the drain.
When and how to water
The best time to water your garden is in the morning or in the evening when temperatures are cooler; the advantages of watering in the morning are that the drier conditions overnight will discourage slugs, snails and fungal diseases. Hand watering will ensure the right amount is given to each plant/crop but this can be time consuming, an irrigation system around the garden, greenhouse and throughout your containers may seem an expensive option but you can water your whole garden just by turning on the tap, why not make it even be easier by fitting a water timer to your water butt or outside tap, watering can be done whilst you are not there and is the ideal solution for the holidays.
Spreading a layer of organic mulch around plants retains moisture as well as suppressing weeds, this is best done in the spring when the soil is wet and plants are small, ideally use compost from your compost bin you could also use bark chippings, dried grass cuttings or gravel, containers will benefit with mulch too.
Containers, Patio Tubs, Growing Bags, Hanging Baskets, window boxes and Standing Raised Beds all require extra watering to prevent them from drying out, the addition of Rain Gel Water Storage Granules to your compost/soil will substantially reduce the need for watering as the granules absorb large amounts of water which is then slowly released to the plant roots just where it is needed, some window boxes/containers have a water reservoir at the bottom which is drawn up by the compost to the roots. During hot weather or your holidays move your containers out of the sun to a shady corner where they will not dry out as quickly.
Glass magnifies the sun’s rays, plants are vulnerable to being scorched and will dry out much faster. Open doors, vents and windows in hot weather, automatic greenhouse window/vent openers are very useful especially during holidays, net shading or a glass shade paint can be used to protect plants from the direct glare of sunlight. On hot days pour water on the greenhouse floor first thing in the morning this will slowly evaporate and add moisture to the air to prevent your plants from suffering heat stress.
Most importantly if you can get outdoors and enjoy this glorious weather!