It’s shaping up to be a summer full of surprises. England’s performance at the World Cup is one, but this heatwave is another entirely. Can you remember the last time that it felt like we were having a proper summer? We’ve generally only had a week or two of sun to look forward to, before weather more akin to February graces us for the rest of the season. But no, it seems that this warm spell is here to stay, which means we need to think about the impact it’s going to have on our gardens.
It goes without saying that drying out is one of the most prevalent threats to your greenery, during a heatwave. But don’t be tempted to just get the hose out and give everything a good, solid drowning. Rehydrate your plants slowly and deeply in evening, to make sure that the soil retains its moisture for as long as possible. Concentrate on the soil around the plant and spread widely around its base. You may have to rely on tap water in the short term, even if some of your plants prefer butt water.
The most vulnerable elements of your garden are those living in containers. This isolated environment will dry out much more quickly than ground soil, and it can overheat with the same speed too. Concentrate on any contained plants, particularly the smaller pots with annuals. Make sure they have some shade and when the weather cools down, water and feed them deeply. You will also likely have to remove some wilted bits.
Soft fruits and young trees, shrubs and perennials will need a hand to get through the summer. Deep watering, particularly for the latter, will encourage the flowering of deep roots. Resist the urge to water them little and often.
Lawns shouldn’t inspire panic. Yes, they will likely drought. But no, they won’t stay that way forever. Don’t worry about watering your grass, it’s extremely resilient and will be thick and green when the rains return. If you really don’t like the yellow straw that’s replaced your manicured lawn, make sure that you mulch more next spring (on the unlikely event that we’ll have two good summers in a row!)
And most importantly, remember to take care of yourselves when working in this heat. It happens to the best of us. A little too much sun (a little too much Pimms too?) can make you feel dreadful and take you out of the game for a few days. Drink plenty, take shaded breaks often and try not to work in the midday sun.
Eden Restored is a team of passionate garden designers working throughout London, Kent and Surrey.
We deliver value-for-money on projects of any size, from inner-city courtyards to countryside cottages.
To discuss your ideas and how we can help throughout the entire process, get in touch.