Help your garden through the heat
Our gardens, along with many gardeners, have been wilting in the recent heat. However, with a little care, you can achieve a longer flowering period for many garden favourites.
Give plants a weekly feed and deadhead flowers regularly. Roses can bloom again well into autumn. Prune wisteria to encourage flowering and prevent rampant growth. Cut down straggly new growth to 2-3 leaves from the base. If the birds have flown the nest, you can also give evergreen hedges a shape and tidy up. Trim flowering herbs such as thyme and lavender to stop them becoming woody.
Helichrysum, geranium, and petunia are good choices in dry weather. Sage, thyme and rosemary all like hot dry conditions and produce aromatic foliage, great for summer barbecues.
The soil is usually dry this month, but the heatwave has made it harder, so give a weekly soak to the plants that need it. Use grey recycled household water or rainwater from a water butt wherever possible. Use leftover water from the kettle (cooled down of course!) for patio plants, especially for ericaceous plants like azaleas, which don’t like tap water unless it has been boiled first. You could also wash vegetables and salad leaves in a bowl, so the water can go on the garden too.
Don’t waste water on the lawn. Your grass may look parched, but it recovers when rain comes, and you can help it along with an autumn lawn feed next month.
Bark mulch is ideal to use around plants. It’s organic, retains moisture and prevents weeds, while encouraging wildlife and providing nutrients to improve soil texture. Use a loam-based compost such as John Innes in pots and containers. It holds water and nutrients better. By covering the surface of pot compost with gravel or decorative stone chippings, you can keep the compost cooler and retain moisture, as well as the added benefit of pots that look more decorative.
Do remember to put out a fresh water source for birds, bees, and other wildlife, including a small bowl or two at ground level.
Garsons has everything you need for your drought-tolerant garden including water-retaining gels and water butts. View the range and ask the planteria staff for advice. Until next time, happy gardening!