Whilst watering your garden plants are not a good idea in a hot summer as it can encourage shallow root growth, deeper roots will give them a much better chance of surviving. The one exception is for your pot plants, without the ability to grow deep roots they require regular water, but in the extreme heat of a draught some clever techniques are required.
- Water butt;
The number one go to item in a draught should be your water butt. Harvested rainwater will keep your pots growing long after the rain has stopped and is very useful if a hosepipe ban comes in place.
- Water retaining crystals;
These crystals soak up water, selling to several times their size, and then slowly release water. Mix in well with compost and the water will be released slowly to the plants.
- Group pots together;
Less water is lost from groups of pots, additional shade is provided and a microclimate can be formed providing addition humidity with leaves loosing less water than if they are separated.
- Get water directly to the plant roots;
Place a small bottle filled with water upside down into the pot with a small hole in the lid, pierced with a nail, to allow the water to drip feed the roots, or use an irrigation system that can drip feed water directly into the pots on a timer.
- Mulch the tops of pots;
Prevent moisture loss from the soil surface and keep the roots cool by covering the soil surface with a mulch, either rock slate, pebbles or bark are an attractive and useful option.
Become creative with your watering techniques, water frequently rather than heavily and try to keep your pots out of direct sunlight where possible and you will find you plants can thrive whatever the weather.