Is your garden suffering in the dry weather?

Don’t panic

Most established plants will recover and spout again when it rains and the soil gets wet.

There is lots of practical advice available from the National Allotment Garden Society and The Royal Horticultural Society among others.

Here are a few tips from our ‘Dry weather and the allotment workshop’, with thanks to all the contributors.

Cut the grass less often and use a higher setting on the mower. The photographs show the effect of raising the height of the cut; the grass on the right was cut with the blades one setting higher. Do not waste time, water and effort trying to keep a lawn watered, grass will recover quickly after even a short shower.

Ayling blog July 2018 13edit


Water any newly planted trees and shrubs, anything planted less than three years ago.

When you water it is better to give a large amount of water every few days than to give a little often. Watering lightly everyday encourages roots to stay near the surface of the soil where it quickly dries out. If you use a large amount of water (a watering can per plant or more) the water will move down through the soil and encourage the roots to grow down into the moister and cooler deeper layers.

Water leafy vegetables, like lettuce, but leave tap rooted vegetables like carrots and parsnips.

Keep plants in pots well-watered and if possible move them into a shady place. If the soil in pots dries out completely you may need to stand them in deep saucer of water to allow the soil to re-wet. BUT don’t forget about them, too much water can be as bad as too little.

Keep deadheading (removing spent blossoms) flowering plants; they will probably make new flowers when the rain comes.

Take advantage of the dry conditions to check all the connections to water butts are clean and tight, remove any dead leaves etc. from your butts; and make sure that the taps are closed so that you can capture any rain that does fall.

Think about installing more butts if you have space.

The dry conditions will probably show which areas of the garden have the deepest and which the shallowest soil. If you make a note of these you can adjust your planting to keep water loving plants in the areas of deepest soil.

Be positive.

Enjoy being able to sit outside in the evening and the plants that enjoy hot dry weather; roses have been magnificent this year. If you lose a plant think of it as an opportunity to get another.

If you have pictures of your garden in the dry weather that you would like to share, why not ‘upload’ them to our picture map #Mapyourdrought.

The link is

If you have trouble getting you pictures onto the map you can send them to us:

Sarah Ayling


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