BBC weather: Temperatures building day on day amid heatwave
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As the heatwave continues, many gardens across the country will need a helping hand in order to survive the excessive hot weather. Luckily, Tom Luck, gardening expert at Growing Revolution, has shared his top tips to care for plants during the heatwave.
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One of the “key factors” in keeping plants happy and healthy during extremely hot weather is watering.
Tom said: “The best time of day to water plants is in the morning (or, failing that, in the evening) when the temperature is lower.
“It is a waste of time watering plants in the full sun, as the water will evaporate without nourishing the plants.
“Make sure to soak the soil thoroughly and avoid getting the foliage too wet, as this can cause some plants to become scorched.”
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Potted plants are likely to need more water because the soil dries out more quickly.
Plants in pots and containers may need watering twice a day.
Test the soil to see how dry it is and check for signs of wilting to see if your plant needs a drink.
Some areas in England have a hosepipe ban where hoses and sprinklers cannot be used to water gardens.
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If you’re unsure whether there’s a hosepipe ban in your area, check with the local water supplier.
Maximise soil moisture
Keeping soil in the shade will slow down any water evaporation.
Cover the soil with mulch to help lock in any moisture and keep roots cooler.
Gardeners can use leaves, compost or bark chip as mulch.
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Organic mulches like this also help to feed the soil as it breaks down, promoting better plant growth and biodiversity.
Like humans, plants also need shade to cool down.
Gardeners can use a shade cloth, old bed sheets or a garden parasol to help create shade.
For container plants, move them into shady spots throughout the day to protect them from the scorching heat.
Consider sun-loving plants
Many plants can’t cope with direct sunlight and high temperatures.
With hot summers looking more likely due to climate change, gardeners may want to consider adding drought-tolerant and sun-loving plants to keep gardens thriving in the future.
Tom added: “When planting new plants during a heatwave, make sure to plant on a cloudy day and water them in well.
“Herbs such as rosemary, sage, marjoram and lavender love the heat.
“Their flavour also becomes more intense in hot weather, so it’s a win-win.
“While plants such as verbena, sedum, spurge and ornamental grasses make great additions to any garden display.”
Houseplants can often be forgotten about during hot weather.
Houseplants drink water faster and will need topping up more regularly during hot weather.
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