2013 is proving to be a big challenge for gardeners after one of the longest winters on record followed by record summer heat and drought.The Met Office reports only 4.9mm of rain fell on the UK during July making it one of the driest July months on record. Temperatures remained exceptionally high and it is reported to be the only prolonged hot spell of weather since July 2006 – this turned out to be the hottest July on record based on Met Office figures which date back to 1910.
17 days of temperatures over 28c followed by heavy thunderstorms have seriously challenged many gardens and green spaces.
Extremes of weather from very cold to very warm are likely to continue as the climate changes and our seasons shift dramatically.Gardeners will be at the front line of the battle to save our prescious green spaces from damage by both frost and heat.
Here are some simple tips you can follow in your garden to help your plants survive and thrive in the intense heat of Summer 2013.
|Choose drought tolerant plants such as geranium, lavender, thymes, sages, sedums, budlia, cystus, rosemary, salvia, agapanthas, ornamental grasses.http://www.globalgardening.org/plants/list/planttypeid/4Letting your plants have a good soak every couple of days will be of more benefit than little and often watering as this does not encourage the plants to form strong roots to go down and search for water.Install a water butt and water diverter to collect rain water from your roof, and remember to fit water butts to any sheds or greenhouses as well.Mix water retaining gel into compost for free-standing pots and avoid containers that need regular watering such as hanging baskets.Apply a mulch to moist ground to conserve water during autumn and spring to a depth of 3 to 4 inches ( chipped bark, mushroom compost or home made compost are good).
Try puddling new plants which means filling the hole with water several times before planting to lock in moisture.
Ensure plants are protected from wind which contributes greatly to drying out.
Cover the tops of containers with pebbles to conserve moisture
Hide plants and pots that are not drought tolerant from mid-day sun
Avoid mowing lawns too often and too short as they survive better in drought if the blades shade each other
Never water or plant in full sun.
Grey water is re-usable on your garden from your kitchen sink, washing
Experiment with new planting ideas and seek the advice of specialist nurseries to help you adapt your garden to an uncertain future http://www.myglobalgarden.com/blog/nursery-reviews
How is your garden coping with the extreme weather so far in 2013?
Love to hear what you are doing to help your garden adapt in these challenging times?
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