With a bit of luck, July’s weather will consist of thirty-one sun-drenched days to enjoy. Of course, warm and dry weather means no rain, which in turn means a lack of water for the garden. Here we’ve outlined best water practices in the garden, particularly useful at this time of year.
As a general rule of thumb, you are better to water thoroughly once or twice a week as opposed to little and often. In doing so, plants are more likely to put down roots in search of water, instead of coming up to the surface for a drink. In saying that, if you have containers or hanging baskets, you’ll need to water these on a daily basis. As water is a precious commodity, instigate good practices by using kitchen and bath water, or rainwater collected in a water butt.
You need to keep on top of lawn care at this time of year, with regular mowing and watering. During hot weather, water the lawn in the evenings and if the warm weather persists, leave the length of the grass slightly longer to help it get through the heatwave.
Keep your garden pond topped up with fresh water. The build up of algae during warm, sunny weather is toxic and can be fatal to animals.
Some plants hate the lime contained in tap water – specifically azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons, so use an alternative water source for these (mentioned above). These plants will abort next season’s flowers if they become too dry, so it’s important to pay close attention to them during dry spells of weather. You can leave a hose trickling around the base of these plants for an hour. The same care applies to larger shrubs and trees during very dry periods.
Whether you are planting a shrub, tree or perennial, you’ll need to water it in well. First of all, soak the rootball in a bucket of water until no air bubbles come up to the surface. Next, dig the hole in which to place your plant, shrub or tree and fill it with water. Allow the water to drain away before placing the plant in the hole, filling with soil, tamping it down and giving it another drink from a watering can.