Written by Wesley Muchimwe | 27th July 2018

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Thirsty gardens: Helping plants survive the heatwave

Along with the rest of the country, at Michael Graham we’re enjoying this extraordinary heatwave but are sorry to see our gardens with grass the colour of straw and wilting plants crying out for a downpour.

With a hosepipe ban lurking around the corner we’ve taken some advice from the Royal Horticultural Society, so here are the top ten things to do to help your garden through the heatwave:

here are the top ten things to do to help your garden through the heatwave:

  1. Don't panic and start watering grass. Grass is resilient and will recover quickly when it starts raining again.  
     
  2. Put mulch down.  Putting a layer of bark or compost mulch down on your borders or vegetable patch provides damp insulation that locks in moisture.
     
  3. Move pots into the shade.  It may seem obvious, but move potted plants out of the sun.
     
  4. Concentrate on watering large tubs of camellias, hydrangeas, acers and other woodlanders that hate hot roots.
     
  5. Water at the right time of day. When the sun shines on water it can act like a magnifying glass and burn the leaves, so water first thing in the morning or early evening. Scientifically, 4am is optimal, but that’s a step too far for most of us, however much we love our plants.
     
  6. Newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials appreciate at least half a big watering can each once every few days to encourage deep roots. Established plants can last a few days without copious watering.
     
  7. Use the right water and recycle. Water from the water butt is the most natural way to water the garden. You can recycle bath-water, just don't water fruit or vegetables you would eat raw.
     
  8. Pond life.  Frogs and toads keep the slug population down, so protect them by monitoring the water level of ponds and water features. Top up with rain water if available, it contains less nitrates than tap water.
     
  9. Protect fruit and veg.  Soft fruit and surface rooting plants like lettuce and tomatoes need more watering. Deeper rooting vegetables like carrots, parsnips and potatoes are more resilient.
     
  10. Greenhouses. Temperatures above 27°C (81°F) can cause damage to some plants so open roof vents or the greenhouse door to cool everything down.

How has your garden fared in the heatwave?  Do you have any tips of your own?  Get in touch on our Facebook page, or via Instagram or Twitter and for Michael Graham town and country properties to buy or rent, head to our website at michaelgraham.co.uk

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