Alan Titchmarsh offers tips on watering tomato plants
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With the UK heatwave continuing, many Britons may be wondering what to grow in such hot, dry conditions. While most crops require regular watering, there are some that thrive in these conditions. Now, National Greenhouse have shared which fruit and vegetables are the best to grow during a drought.
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Tom Hilton, outdoor gardening and indoor gardening specialist at National Greenhouse, shared the best fruit and vegetables to grow while still saving water.
All plants need water to survive, but it’s often not clear which ones will still thrive when there isn’t a lot of water available.
Beans are the most well-known crops that thrive in drought conditions.
Chickpeas and black-eyed peas are traditionally found in more arid environments.
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They are the perfect crop to grow in dry conditions as they don’t need much water.
Tomato plants may not like cold weather but they are “surprisingly hardy” when it comes to lack of water.
Tomato plants can actually draw water from deeper soil when the surface layer becomes dry which means “less water is required”.
However, Tom said tomatoes still need a “healthy amount of water in their infancy”.
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Peppers, squash and aubergines
These plants also don’t require too much water.
Having a rain-water collection barrel would be beneficial as this could keep the soil nutrient rich and watered but only when the plant needs it.
Tom added: “While these are all great options, it’s important to remember that careful planning and the right soil composition is still needed despite a plant’s hardiness.”
How to water sparingly
Tom said drip irrigation is by far the “most effective method” for watering a plant during hot weather.
Other methods can result in excess water on the leaves which will evaporate.
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When water evaporates, the plant isn’t getting as much water and gardeners are out of pocket.
Water plants early in the morning or in the late evening.
This allows water to be absorbed before it becomes too hot.
As the plant grows and becomes more mature, gardeners can reduce their watering.
Lay out plants in a “traditional row system” instead of clustering them together.
Tom explained: “Not only does this mean that the water you do provide is shared between the plants, but also allows leaves of larger plants to provide shade for smaller ones – a method known as companion planting.
“This allows the plants to work together and give you the best harvest possible.”
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