Thursday, 16 August 2018

The UK Heatwave - Coping with the heat

The UK Heatwave - Coping with the heat

There had been warnings over the past few weeks about the hosepipe ban on the 5th August of just those in the North West, however after checking the United Utilities website (https://www.unitedutilities.com/) This was confirmed to have been called off and in the aftermath we are still being told to keep our water usage low until the stored amounts of water are able to be replenished.

However, despite the recent “scare” I thought it would be a good topic to write on, "how to cope for a sudden drought", which is what happened early this July. Many gardeners feared their plants wouldn’t be getting enough water without a hosepipe but there are certain things you can do to ensure that your plants stay hydrated and happy.

In a hosepipe ban it is not banning you from watering your plants, it just means that you aren’t allowed to use the wasteful hosepipe! Filling up watering cans to take for your plants is perfectly fine.


Watering

Our number 1 top tip for watering plants in droughts would be the timing of when you water the plants. Established plants will usually require watering about twice a day to make sure they do not suffer from lack of water; meanwhile more established plants can be watered about once a day. The best time to water your plants would be either in the evening or early morning before the main sun and heat kicks in.

By watering your plant in the evening this means you are giving the plant a chance to absorb all the water in the soil while the temperature is still cool ready for tomorrow. If you start watering the plant in the middle of the day it can form bad habits for the plant where it will start to expect water during the hottest part of the day causing wilting if/when it doesn’t get watered.


If you are going away on a trip and think you may not be able to water the plants for a day, another trick is if they are a potted plant to sit them in a saucer of water and give them a good amount of water before leaving. 
This will allow the plants to absorb the water from the bowl without it saturating the roots of the plant and they can go much longer without a water before needing topping up.

Obviously, watering is the main concern in a heatwave and while making sure the plant is watered correctly, why not go that one step further and look into mulching. Using either Compost or a Layer of Bark can help to trap moisture in the soil, by taking the harsh sunlight during the day stopping the soil from having to face the sun and dry out meaning the plants absorb as much moisture as possible from the soil.

Another (albeit somewhat obvious) point to mention would be if you have any potted annual plants that you think may easily dry out in the sun, to move them into a shadier area of the garden or if this is not possible then you can always pick up some shade netting that will help give the plants a break from the sun.



For all up to date information about whether you are affected please always double check this at www.unitedutilities.co.uk or your local supplier.

Thank you very much for reading this blog, if you have any questions or are just looking for a bit of advice then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Zach Henshaw
01565 723831

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