As temperatures soared this July, the Met Office announced that a new provisional recording of 38.7°c has been recorded and if validated it would be a new temperature officially record for the UK. July saw us reach the highest temperature recorded for the month.
Extreme hot weather can play havoc with the well-tended garden but we urge you not to panic! Here are a few simple tips to keep your outdoor spaces looking great despite the heat.
Avoid over-watering during a heatwave
First and foremost; Don’t panic into watering. The grass is very good at dealing with a lack of water, even if it turns brown it will be able to bounce back when the rains return later in the year.
Over-watering can cause plants to leach nutrients and cut off the supply of oxygen to the roots.
Top tip: ‘Pick up the watering can and provide focused watering at the base of the plant, so roots can benefit as quickly as possible.’
Water plants first thing or last thing during hot weather spells
When the sun shines on the water it can act as a magnifying glass, burning the leaves below. When it’s hot, the best time of day to water is early morning or in the evening. Plants in containers should be watered twice a day, as the soil dries out much quicker in pots.
Make sure plants are well-fed
The best way to breathe some life back into plants suffering in a heatwave is providing long-lasting moisture and rich nutrients. Most gardeners can appreciate the benefit of mulching. This can hinder weeds and help the moisture-holding capacity of the soil, providing a lifeline to gardeners when things get hot.
Top tip: Lay down a thick layer of mulch, covering the top few inches of soil – where most root activity occurs. This will keep roots moist and cool. In turn, his will help plants grow and reduce the amount of watering required.
Only mow lawns once a week
Your mowing routine should drop to once a week during periods of drought. Don’t fret if your lawn goes brown and crisp, like many last summers. When the rains and lower temperatures return it’ll soon recover.
Top tip: When mowing, adjust your blade to a higher setting to ensure grass stems provide maximum shade to the soil. Afterward, leave the cuttings instead of raking to provide shade and to avoid damaging your lawn.
How often should I water the lawn during hot weather?
A well-established lawn should require minimal watering in increased temperatures.
Protect your vegetables
Looking after your vegetable plot is important in hot weather too, especially if you’re hoping for delicious food to go in summer salads. Don’t leave large areas of your vegetable patch bare, but plant with green manures and companion plants.
It’s all about the roots – surface rooting plants such as lettuce and tomatoes will wilt quickly and require more watering, whereas deeper rooting vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, and potatoes may be more resilient.
Plant drought-resistant plants
You might also want to consider drought-resistant plants alongside more heat-sensitive varieties to keep your garden looking healthy. Herbs such as rosemary, marjoram, and lavender love the heat and their flavour and scent become more intense in the hot summer months.
When should you plant during warmer weather?
If you add new plants to your garden in the summer, plant on a cloudy day and water well if the weather is warm. Increase the plant’s chances of surviving the heat by using half mulch half potting mix.
Get to know your garden
What’s your soil like? Which way do your flower beds and vegetable patch face? Plant according to your findings. For instance, east facing gardens tend to retain more moisture and good for plants such as primulas, whereas succulents and silver foliage plants such as lavender will thrive in west facing gardens.
This month we have completed the renovation project in the garden at The Lamplighters Pub in Shirehampton.
If you haven’t already check it out. We also attended the opening of the Bear Project that we have been working on for many months. It was a huge success to see the end result and the project really come together. The new attraction at The Wild Place Project is now open for visitors. A new fly-through video has been produced giving a sneak preview of what the new Bear Wood exhibit at Wild Place Project will look like can be found here:
Our family fun day, which was at the beginning of the month, was also a huge success, staff and their families were able to enjoy a day together where there was plenty of BBQ food and fun inflatables.