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Every year as we leave the winter behind, we are optimistically hopeful for a long hot summer! When it eventually arrives we find ourselves frantically watering pots and baskets. We stare at the lawn in despair, wondering whether it is worth the effort and cost of running a sprinkler to keep the lawn green or will it just turn brown eventually anyway?
We have put together a few hot tips on keeping your garden watered over the hottest periods of the summer. Read on to see what to do if you are going on holiday and have to leave your beloved garden in the hands of unenthusiastic neighbour!
- Don’t worry about losing your lawn to the heat. Yes, it will turn brown and look awful for a while but IT WILL RECOVER!
- If you want to keep your lawn green use a really good Multi Direction Sprinkler. These sprinklers are great as you can set a precise area to water.
- Place a container under the sprinkler to record how much water is going onto the lawn. It is surprising how long you need to run a sprinkler to actually get enough water into the lawn. About 1 1/2 inches is fine.
- Consider keeping a small area of lawn green rather than watering the whole lawn.
- Don’t bother cutting your lawn in hot weather. The longer the better.
- Most houses are on water meters so it can get expensive watering a lawn. You will have to keep up with the sprinkler to keep the grass green. Decide whether it really is worth the effort and extra expense.
- If you don’t get enough water onto the lawn and only end up wetting the surface, you could end up with a very weedy lawn! When the grass turns brown and the surface is damp, this creates a perfect bed for weed seeds to germinate.
- Read our Lawn sections for Lawn repair advice and Killing Lawn Weeds
Pots, Baskets and Going on Holiday!
- Move as many pots as you can into the shady areas of the garden.
- If you have friends coming into water while you are away, lift hanging baskets from their brackets and place low down on old plastic flower pots. They are less likely to be forgotten!
- Group pots and baskets together to make watering as easy as possible.
- Fill as many containers with water as you can. So your “water buddies” don’t have to spend their time at the tap.
- Remember that one inch of water on top of the compost in a pot goes nine inches down into the compost.
- Stand pots in saucers and fill with water.
- Keep plants off window sills in hot weather. The glass really does magnify the heat.
- Consider installing a watering system. £45 can buy you a fully automated “20 Pot watering system” and you can add extra drip irrigation for less than £10 if you want to. Well worth the investment if you go on holiday or if you are just simply tired of endless hours standing there with the hosepipe or refilling the watering can.
- Use plastic bottle watering spikes. The bottles can be turned upside down in pots and baskets and will deliver water slowly over time.
- Keep the watering low down. It is the roots that need water not the leaves or stems.
- Use a Water Butt Pump to make life easier. Water butt taps can be slow and watering cans don’t often fit in the top of water butts if you want to refill by dipping.