It’s hot. We experienced the driest July in over a century, and although there’s the possibility of rain forecast, our local water provider is asking us to use water wisely, with hosepipe bans being introduced in some parts of the country.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for the garden. The grass may look and feel like straw, but the great thing about a lawn is that it will bounce back as soon as it starts raining again.”
Pick your battles
Gardening during drought is all about picking your battles. Creative Director, Hollie Newton from Sproutl says:
“Mature trees and shrubs will soldier on through a drought, but it is plants in pots that need a helping hand,
You might not be able to keep everything alive, so focus on your big and expensive plants and water these by hand with a watering can.”
Re-think your garden
Longer term, Hollie suggests thinking about what sort of plants you grow. “Let’s face it, we’re going to be having more summers like this, with hot, dry weather, so gardeners need to look for plants that don’t need much water. Plants from the Mediterranean are properly equipped to face this sort of weather, so things like palms, cacti, lavender, rosemary, santolina, ceanothus, cistus and artemisia – to name a few – are all good choices for gardens.”
There are also a few tricks when it comes to establishing plants, as Hollie explains: “Instead of watering new plants little and often, give them a really good soaking less often. This encourages them to send their roots down deep to find water.”And lastly, Hollie adds: “Don’t cut down trees! It can be tempting to cut down trees when you move into a new place to give more space or sunlight, but trees are so good during a drought with providing much-needed shade – for us and our plants.”
More top tips for gardening in a drought
How to use water wisely:
Group pots together and move them to shadier spots to reduce watering needs.
Install a water butt to collect rainwater.
Focus on watering vegetables when in flower for a good harvest.
Keep on top of weeding as weeds will compete with plants for water.