With another spell of warmer weather promised to be on its way, make sure you’re watering your plants at the right time of day.
Plants that are not in pots will benefit most from being watered morning or evening, when droplets have time to soak down into the soil. The downside to watering in the evening is that this may encourage more night-time slug and snail activity as a cooler, damp environment is one that they tend to prefer. If you do choose to water in the morning then start very early – before the sun is shining.
It is best to avoid watering in full sun because water will evaporate before it can properly wet the soil. However, if you do see that a plant is wilting in the sun it is still preferable to give it some water, but do try not to get the foliage wet and concentrate the water at the base of the plant instead.
With plants in pots or in hanging baskets, they may need watering more than once a day as the soil likely to dry out much more quickly than those plants in the ground. If you are able to, move the pots into a shadier area during hotter, sunnier days.
If your lawn is looking quite dry, don’t worry too much as it will usually regrow quite quickly when rain returns. Raise the height of cut in dry weather and let the clippings fall back onto the lawn as they will act as a mulch and slow the evaporation of water from the soil surface.
You can help conserve soil moisture by adding a layer of mulch or by digging in organic matter through the topsoil. The bulkiness of the mulch helps hold water in the soil so it will retain moisture even in hotter weather.
If you’re planning to add plants to your garden borders, water them well before and after planting. Try to avoid planting when it’s a hot and sunny day, instead carry out this task on cooler, cloudier days. You’ll find that both yourself and the plants will benefit from doing this.