Whether we enjoy a beautifully landscaped garden or simply a few patio pots, we are all battling the current drought conditions and a hosepipe ban. So here are some top tips and advice to help our precious gardens survive.
Firstly, try to relax about your lawn. It will recover, so don’t waste precious water on it. Likewise, tree roots go deep underground, and they tend to survive without any long-term problems due to water shortage.
Remember that plants grown from tubers and bulbs are pretty tough and should come out fighting next spring.
Annuals, hanging baskets and containers however, are in danger during the prolonged dry spell. Sprinkle them gently but thoroughly with water from a can but do it early in the morning or later in the evening when conditions are cooler. Then they can benefit from a good long drink rather than missing out as the water evaporates during the hotter parts of the day.
Mulching is a useful tactic in the war against drought as a 2 to 3-inch deep layer of mulch covering the soil can reduce evaporation by up to 70%. It also protects the ground from direct sunlight and keeps the soil temperature down.
Common sense tells us that when water is limited, we shouldn’t let it go to waste on unwanted plants. Weeds take moisture from the soil just as much as our prized blooms – so keep up with the weeding.
From a plant’s perspective, it wants to produce seeds so by deadheading regularly we can stop them from putting extra energy into producing seeds – which of course uses precious moisture from the soil.
Because young plants can be vulnerable, it’s worth moving them to shade if they are in pots. They need to be watered regularly but lightly to maximise their chances of survival through the dry period.
So, by following some of these top tips, we can help our poor, long-suffering gardens live to fight another day!