Hot Weather Gardening Tips
GARDENERS are being given some hot tips on how to take care of their plants and flowers in the current heatwave.
Experts at Cardwell Garden Centre have come up with hot weather hints to make sure people’ avoid their dahlias drying up, their marigolds melting, sunflowers getting scorched or their periwinkles wilting.
Horticulturist Brian Hawthorn says: “Obviously, there’s been a distinct lack of rain recently, so we have to make sure our flowers and plants are well watered.
“The best time to water your garden is in the cool of the evening using a watering can, or hose with a spray attachment. If you water your plants in the heat of the day any droplets of water on the leaves can magnify sunlight and cause scorching. Water sitting on the petals of delicate flowers can also cause them to rot.
“You can water plants first thing in the morning, so long as it’s just the soil that’s being irrigated and not leaves and flower petals.
“It’s also best to slowly and generously water the ground around the same area of the plant’s canopy, instead of just spraying the leaves, as this makes sure the roots get the benefit of the irrigation.”
Brian also suggests adding a layer of bark, or mulch around your borders, as this will retain moisture in the soil.
He also warns that if the soil in a pot, or basket of flowers has dried out and formed a hard layer on top, then water may simply run off the surface and down the side without getting to the roots. To avoid this break up the surface of the ‘caked’ soil so the water gets to where it should be.
He continues: “With plants growing in pots that can be easily moved it’s best to keep them in the shade during the scorching hot weather and for the plants in large pots, or in the ground, make sure they are watered every evening.
“It’s also a good idea to water your lawn and a lawn sprayer is a handy addition to your gardening equipment. There’s nothing worse seeing a lush green grass turn into a patch of brown ground. The grass will quickly turn green again if it’s regularly watered.
“If you are mowing the lawn in this weather, it’s worth adjusting the blades to a higher level, as longer grass itself gives the soil and the roots below some shade from the burning sun.”
Brian adds: “In the hot weather it’s even more important to give a daily watering to fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers and courgettes that need water to swell up before being picked.
“We’ve all the gardening equipment and tools you’ll need to keep your garden in tip-top shape here at Cardwell Garden Centre.”
He also asks people to consider wildlife during the heatwave: “With not a puddle to be seen you’ll be doing the birds in your garden a big favour if you keep your birdbath topped up with fresh clean water, so they can have a drink and clean their feathers,” he says.
Adding: “And believe it or not the bees in your garden also need water to survive. You can help them by putting out a shallow dish filled with pebbles and water.”
Brian has one final piece of advice for gardeners: “After you’ve looked after your plants and flowers, it’s time to look after yourself. Pour yourself a long, cool drink and sit back in your lounger and enjoy your garden bathed in the sunshine while it lasts!”