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Posts Tagged ‘efficient watering in the garden’

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.

Rainsaver Rainwater Collector

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.

Haws Deluxe 5L Watering Can

Mulching

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.

Classic Triple Wooden Compost Bin

Containers

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.

Free Standing Wooden Plant or Vegetable Manger Trough Crib Planter

Greenhouses, Polytunnels, Conservatories and Cold Frames

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.

Standard Mini Wooden Cold Frame

Wildlife

Birds, insects and animals all need water to survive, keep bird baths and water bowls topped up with fresh water daily, you may be surprised who arrives for a welcome drink.

Ceramic Hanging Bird Bath Water Dish

Most importantly if you can get outdoors and enjoy this glorious weather!

Gill

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We have had an ‘Ask the expert enquiry’ from an allotment holder in Yorkshire which I thought I would share with you he asks:

‘ Morning guys, I’ve an 8ft x 8ft bed empty and I’m gaining space as I take out my spuds any advice as to what I should be planting now? I’m thinking Kale and Swiss Chard ‘

There are in fact quite a lot of things that you can sow and grow in July to replace your potatoes or to fill any empty space:

Salad Crops:

Sow Salad Leaves, Lettuce, Rocket, Radish, Spring Onions

Herbs:

Sow Basil, Parsley, Coriander, Dill

Kale

Vegetables:

Sow Turnips, Carrots, Beetroot

Sow Kale, Swiss Chard, Endive, Kohl Rabi, Pak Choi, Fennel, Perpetual Spinach 

Sow the last of your French Beans, Runner Beans and Peas

Sow Spring Cabbage for transplanting later on

Rhubarb can be divided now – make a new bed

Plant out:

Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Winter Cabbages, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflowers, Kale and Leeks for a winter harvest

For a wonderful spring display next year:

Sow Biennial seeds in rows e.g. Forget-me-not, Foxglove, Sweet William, Wallflowers for transplanting in the Autumn.

I hope that I have given you a few ideas to get the most from your vegetable garden.

Click here for lots more things to do in the garden in July, one of the most important jobs at the moment is watering, for more ideas on watering and water conservation in the garden click here.

Enjoy the sun

Gill

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