Well not exactly in fact nowhere at all in our neck of the woods for the last 6 or so weeks. Of course after last years deluge the ground is good and wet and with appropriately applied mulches this spring many will not be suffering too much.

There is a lot of information out there about keeping our greenery off life support from lack of water and a few tips never go amiss when you’re watching your wisteria wilt and the roses flop.

Of course standard rule of thumb is don’t water after the first season of growth, mulch well, 75mm deep,  in wetter months (Nov through Feb) and hope the plant gets its toes down into deeper, damper ground.

One of the worst things to do is sprinkle plants in the ground them little and often. The net result of this is the roots stay in the top few centimetres of the soil so when the heat dries it out, burns it to a dust more like, your little plant turns up it’s toes while you’re away for the weekend. Long soaks once a week.

I recall my mother a furiously keen gardener doing this with a fork plunged into the ground and heath Robinson affair strapping the hose to the handle to be shifted and pointed in whichever direction she fancied. There were mornings she would hurtle up the garden in her PJ’s to see if accidentally leaving it on overnight had flooded the veg patch.

So I have long been of the view that long substantial drownings are much better than short dribbles. Of course pots are something else entirely. They demand watering daily. The more porous, the more watering. I do stand many of mine together in shadier spots and on trays filling the tray full or water, refilling when it’s empty. I have drowned a few but none have yet dried to a crisp.

Hanging baskets are much the same as pots though even more demanding, watering twice a day would not go amiss.

Lawns can be dire to look at but do not despair most will rejuvenate as soon as it rains. cutting on a long setting 10cm (4 inches) helps it to not dry out quite as fast.

Fruit and vegetable crops need good water supplies to fatten and swell to ripeness though again I am of a mind to give them long soaks every couple of days rather than twice daily snifters. A watering can per plant, soaking around the roots to encourage roots to go deeper.

Sweet Pea bounty

Sweet Pea bounty and the pay off for all the watering

Newly planted (less than 12 months) trees shrubs and perennials do need help in exceptional heat like this, long slow soaks that allow the water to penetrate the soil around their roots to a good depth, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.


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