Give Plants a Good Soaking

Give Plants a Good Soaking

Watering the garden during hot weather.


I have just returned from my holiday abroad; so with danger of frost over, I have put my pots and baskets outdoors including some of my houseplants. I have tried to keep these out of full sun so as not to give them sunburn.

In this hot spell, tasks now switch to watering them. With peat free compost the surface often looks dry. I push my fingers in the soil and then water if it feels dry. I added water retaining granules and controlled release fertiliser before planting up so I shouldn’t need to feed them. If you didn’t use slow release fertiliser then you could use a tomato feed when watering instead.

I water at least twice a week, early in the mornings, soaking the soil around the base of the plants. My pots and containers are stood on saucers to help retain moisture.   Anything recently planted will need a thorough soaking too during these dry spells, newly sown seed and emerging seedlings may need more frequent watering.

This dry weather is a good time to behead weed seedlings with a hoe, as they will shrive in the heat. Perennials such as dock and dandelions will regrow and are best dug out, root ‘n’ all.

In my small patch I only have one bed with mixed planting. As the last of my broad beans are harvested and pulled out, I will replace them with kale and chard, maybe a few lettuce and basil. I try to plant varieties from different families to follow, mix and match with companion plants too.

So as your broad beans (cabbage, calabrese, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, peas and potatoes) mature and are dug up try filling the gaps with more carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, French beans, beetroot and leaf beet, broccoli, brussels sprouts, courgette, cucumber, leeks, salad onions – whichever you like!

If you don’t have a veggie patch, but love your flowers, then try sowing some late annuals. These may flower this summer despite being sown late – ageratum, agastache, cosmos, dahlias, rudbeckia and sunflowers.

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