PG Tips – Number 1

P G (Paula’s Gardening) Tips – Number 1

How to keep your garden alive in the heatwave


Plants benefit from a long soak to the roots, rather than frequent sprinkles. Soak the soil, so that the water permeates below the surface, rather than just wetting the leaves, as the water will mainly just evaporate off the leaves. It’s preferable to water early morning or evening when it is less hot, so that less water is lost in evaporation. But watering at any time is better than not at all.

Long term it is well worth improving the soil so that it can hold onto the water for longer. If your garden is very sandy the water will just run straight through and the plants don’t get much chance to drink up the water. So plenty of rich, moisture retentive compost or well rotted manure piled up around your plants will help to hold more water around the roots of the plants. It also provides extra protection from very cold winters.

Finally, on top of the soil, you can put a layer of bark or gravel, or any logs, rocks… anything to slow down the evaporation of water from the soil. The thicker the layer of bark, or gravel etc, the better.

Watering can be time consuming and takes a lot of patience – it can even be costly if you are on a water meter – but the pleasure of seeing a blooming garden, and all the wildlife that will accompany that, is always worth it.

July 2013