Gardening: How to create a watering tool for your plants
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During hot weather, plants and flowers need watering regularly to ensure their soil stays moist. According to experts at Miracle-Gro, plants are made up of around 80 percent water and it helps them to transport minerals from the soil. Martine Le Gassic, creative director at garden design company Stark & Greensmith, has shared tips on how gardeners can keep their plants and garden in “top condition” during a heatwave.
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The expert explained: “Remember the basics and don’t overwater your plants. Although it’s tempting, in a heatwave, water your plants a day or two in advance, and then not again until the soil begins to dry out.
“If necessary, water your plants early in the morning when the temperature isn’t as hot and make sure to water the ground near the base of the plants to fully saturate the soil.”
Mulch can help to protect the roots of the plants from sunlight as well as release nutrients into the soil.
The expert said: “This will keep the soil cooler and prevent it from drying out.
“Mulch is also great as it improves the soil texture and suppresses weeds and adding this to the bottom of your planter can also improve drainage.”
Another common method to improve drainage is to add planters with pebbles or rocks.
However, Martine said to avoid this as they will absorb and hold heat.
The expert added: “They will cause your plants to wilt and die.
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“Also add partial shade to your garden. This will help keep your garden cool and protect plants during a heatwave.
“By semi-blocking the sunlight on plants, the soil will stay cooler and retain moisture to keep your plants healthier for longer.
“Ways to add partial shade for your plants that still require some sunlight can include using a shade net, mesh or even an umbrella.
“Trellises also work well to block excessive sunlight for shorter plants that can tolerate shade.
“Trellises are also a great option for vining plants that can climb up the sides of the trellis and provide more shade for the plants below.”
Pergolas are also great for fixed shrubbery to help provide maximum sun protection.
While the majority of plants will also be in a pot of some kind, the expert said gardeners should place plants in lightly-coloured pots.
Martine explained: “This will help reflect sunlight and keep planters cool.
“Terracotta or thick glazed ceramic pots will keep potted plants more cool than plastic or dark glazed pots.”
With temperatures to hit up to 36C in some areas, gardeners should also “be wary” of their plant placement.
Of course, some plants love the sun and need it to survive but Martine warned that they should be kept away from direct sunlight.
The expert said: “Keep pots and planters away from direct sunlight and be aware that patios facing south or west will be hotter during the summer.
“Additionally, be careful about putting containers where light is reflected from walls or fences.
“Planters on gravel or concrete will also absorb more heat and suffer from extreme heat so try to avoid placing them on these.”
For other maintenance in the garden during a heatwave, the expert recommended weeding.
She said weeds in the garden soak up water in the soil, meaning there is less moisture to keep plants hydrated.
Martine continued: “Weed your garden at least one time a week to avoid this during hot weather.
“For lawn care, don’t cut the grass.
“Try not to cut your grass too short, as long grass can tolerate the heat better. Leaving the grass taller also helps to retain more moisture in the soil.
“Try to keep your grass six inches during a heatwave.”
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