Watering – an art or a science?

correct watering is an art form

Not long ago in my granddad’s day, you could predict the seasons and every gardener knew what to do when, planning which gardening tasks to do on each day of the year.
Now, just like our modern lives, the weather is less predictable….This time last week, we were all sweltering in 30 degree heat – since then we have had storms, torrential rain and floods, making planning the watering of our plants into an art form!

Here are a few tips to help you get the balance right:

Don’t overwater!
If a plant’s drooping, it might not be drought but overwatering. If a plant is looking sad, check the soil – if it is very wet, check the drainage……very few plants (apart from pond & bog plants) like to sit in water, so if they are sodden they will suffer. Pay particular attention to potted plants standing in trays, which were great to keep the plants watered in the heat – these same plants may well now be suffering from rotting roots.

Look after your new plants
It’s a great time to plant new plants in your borders, but they need watering well to establish themselves into their new home. Pay close attention to those which may be sheltered from any rainfall, such as beneath trees or eaves of houses. Check the soil every couple of days to make sure they are not drying out, especially those protected from the elements and give them a good soaking if they need it. It may feel a bit odd to water when it’s raining, but it is there is nothing worse than losing your new plants after a few weeks as they haven’t had enough water.

Water as close to the ground as possible
Take care not to water foliage when in sunshine – even though the sun is becoming weaker than a few weeks ago, it can still scorch the leaves. Much better to water at ground level so the roots can benefit from the water

Water sparingly under glass
Reduce the amount of water you give your greenhouse plants – too much damp in the greenhouse now can result in your crops going rotten before they ripen.

Don’t forget that the wet weather means full water butts ready for the next dry spell, saving you money on your water bill, so make sure you collect as much water as you can around the garden!

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