Gardening in UK’s changing climate

Tue, Oct 1, 2013

Buy Plants, Met Office, Nurseries

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. 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
machine and bath providing that it does not contain much soap or detergent.


Experiment with new planting ideas and seek the advice of specialist nurseries to help you adapt your garden to an uncertain future


 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?

Please post your ideas and comments  on our “growing”  facebook page








This post was written by:

- who has written 843 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and is keen to "manage" the effects of the weather on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and I hope that it will continue to grow, allowing global gardeners to communicate about the effects of climate change on our plants and the future of our gardens.

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