How to look after your garden in a heatwave – 5 dos and donts

Homebase share their tips for gardening in the summer

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This summer has been one of two extremes. Whilst many Brits have seen their gardens devastated by heavy downpours others have had their’s scorched in extreme heat. Summer is always a challenging time for gardeners, many of the most luscious gardens can be reduced to brown dirt patches when heatwaves hit.

Whilst many Britons may be basking in the sun as temperatures soar the savvy gardener should not ignore their precious plants.

Plants will be vulnerable in sunny spells, many will quickly dry out when hot weather strikes.

Here are some dos and don’t to ensure your garden stays healthy in the heat

Do use mulch

Mulch is a layer of material that goes on top of the soil.

It can offer a valuable defence against high temperatures, creating a barrier to protect your soil and the roots of plants during heatwaves.

As well as ensuring soil temperatures remain more stable mulch can also provide much-needed nutrients to your plants during sunny spells.

Don’t use a hose

Many Britons simply turn on their hose pipes and blast their gardens with water.

Whilst this may be faster than using a watering can or sprinklers this won’t provide even coverage. They aren’t efficient and can waste hundreds of litres daily.

In heatwaves, it’s likely local authorities will impose a hosepipe ban so it’s best to stick to using a watering can where possible.

Do maintain a regular watering routine

This may sound obvious but many Brits will be tempted to simple overload their gardens with extra water.

Sudden splurges can sometimes cause more damage than dry spells.

You could end up effectively drowning your plants if you dump too much water on them at once.

The key to effective watering during a heatwave is to water your plants as normal but up the number of times, you water them in a day.

Don’t water leaves

Try to avoid watering leaves instead aim for the soil around the plant.

If you water the leaves much of this will be lost due to evaporation on hot days before it reaches your plant’s roots.

This is another reason why you should use a watering can instead of a hosepipe, it will ensure you target the soil not the leaves to avoid water waste.

Do provide shade

This may sound like another obvious one but many Brits skip this essential task.

You might not want to do this for all your plants during a heatwave, but for more delicate flowers creating shade should prevent them from wilting as temperatures soar.

You can simply use old patio umbrellas or drape old bedsheets over makeshift frames or use washing line type supports.

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