Finally the summer has arrived in the UK, with 30 degree temperatures forecast over the coming week or two, our minds turn to gardening in hot weather. We want to remind you all that this is a time when you must take special care for your garden and its wildlife visitors…
Water is precious and it’s important to make your garden as least dependent on constant watering when there is a heatwave. There is much you can do to improve life for the living things in your outdoor space.
First up, when gardening in hot weather, either water first thing in the morning or last thing at night – it’s not a good idea to spray water onto plants that are exposed to the full sun during the heat of the day and it’s a waste of water too as most of it will just evaporate in the heat. There is nothing more invigorating than getting up extra early to spend time in the garden before breakfast – watering and checking on your lovely garden. At the end of a hot day in the office what could be better than looking forward to chilling in the garden and watering your precious plants.
Plants in Containers
If you have plants in containers, place them in a shady spot during a heatwave and for larger containers, please put a layer of pebbles on top of the soil – this will help to keep the roots cool and retain the water. Drip feeding watering systems are available in most garden centres and can be a lifeline when you go away on holiday, delivering a small amount of water each day during hot weather.
Choose the right plants!
Sounds so obvious but annual plants have very shallow roots that will dry out super fast in the heat, perennials, shrubs and trees have much larger and complex root systems that can cope with the dry surface of the soil because they are well rooted in deep soil. Lots of the Mediterranean style plants will just thrive in the heat – Olive trees, Fig Trees, Rosemary and Lavender will need less water.
Mulch Mulch Mulch!
Similarly in the borders, make sure you give the soil a good layer of mulch, this will help to avoid evaporation from the soil, replace nutrients and improve the health of your soil. If you have a lawn, cut the grass longer to avoid the roots becoming dried out and use the grass clippings as a mulch, either fresh or dry. Remember to create areas of sun and shade to give more drama and indeed respite when the temperature starts to climb.
Planting New Shrubs in Hot Weather
Water, water and then water again – we cannot stress enough the importance of watering plants in and particularly lots of water is needed on newly planted, establishing trees and shrubs at this time of the year. When you intend to plant take the plant out of the container and stand it in a bucket of water for at least one hour. Dig the hole – it needs to be at least one third larger all round than the rootball of the plant – fill this hole with water and allow it to drain before planting. Place the tree or shrub in the hole and fill in with moist compost and heel in around the root ball (to remove any pockets of air) and at the end of the process – yes you’ve guessed it – give it another thorough dowsing with water.
The main thing is – enjoy your garden, eat outside with friends, have breakfast out there in the mornings and last but not least don’t forget to leave out water for our precious wildlife, birds, hedgehogs and even pollinators need water more than ever – so don’t forget to fill up your bird bath with fresh water and leave little trays of water in accessible places…
We’re always here to advise you – contact our expert team at
Paramount Plants & Gardens Ltd
131 Theobalds Park Road
London EN2 9BH
Tel: +44 (0)20 8367 8809