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How to protect the garden plants from the upcoming heat wave?

msqingxiaomsqingxiao Posts: 480
Now that the weather forecast is 40C for the south on Monday...  :o

Watering the garden thoroughly in the morning or the night before? Worse still, my front garden is facing southwest....


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,312
    In Beth Chatto's dry garden they cut back anything that's struggling rather than watering. Anything like Geraniums can always be hacked right back and watered when it's over

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,656
    We are in or second heatwave already and no end in sight.  

    We water thoroughly in the evening so plants have all night to soak it up and we do it on a rota so not every day for every plant.   Better to water deeply once a week than give a daily dribble that only touches the soil surface.

    Regular dead-heading helps too and cutting back of anything starting to shrivel.  Moving pots to partial shade helps too unless you have real sun worshippers such as citrus plants that need it to ripen fruit and produce more flowers.

    Never water the grass.  Waste of time and water and it will green up again when you get rain as long as you haven't scalped it too short.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • WAMSWAMS Posts: 1,848
    Will be moving all my pots into the shade of my trees behind the garden bench tonight after work. Hanging baskets too. Will have to give the garden a good water this weekend.... and that'll have to be it.

    A hosepipe ban or whatever they call it now can't be far off. My lawn is pretty much dead and walking along it raises a dust cloud.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,059
    @msqingxiao I think it gives a good opportunity. If you are continuously watering your SW front garden it's hard work. Perhaps you could rethink some of your plants. My front garden faces south and over the years I have added more and more drought tolerant plants. It has saved alot of work.
    Building a garden is very personal. It's not quite the same as installing a boiler.
    James Alexander Sinclair 
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,959
    My front garden gets full sun until around 3.30pm at this time of year, the majority of the planting is shrubby salvias . Some have only been planted in the last few months, so my plan is to go out an Saturday afternoon when the sun's moved round and give them all a really good soaking using watering cans so that l can a. Get water to the roots and b. Monitor the amount. 
    I'm hoping this will get them through until Wednesday morning, but if they start to show signs of stress they'll get a top up.

    As for the back garden, it's bad enough in a "normal" year. My plan is to water anything that flowers in the Autumn such as Heleniums, and also anything newly planted or recently moved.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,059
    @AnniD Yes agree top of my list would be things that are still to flower.
    Building a garden is very personal. It's not quite the same as installing a boiler.
    James Alexander Sinclair 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,591
    edited July 2022
    my garden is a South facing slope in full sun all day long but my grass is still green.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,669
    My grass is still green in SW France but could be because the sub soil is clay, there's a river nearby and there is a lot of clover, prunella, daisies etc. I don't mind if it stays green, doesn't have to be grass.

    I give the beds and veg garden a good soak in the evening, every few days, not everyday, when it's hot.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • StephenSouthwestStephenSouthwest Posts: 573
    edited July 2022
    I'm glad to have the shredder to produce mulch for the ground surface, saving plants, saving water.
    I'd not thought of cutting back as an alternative - thanks for that idea.
  • thevictorianthevictorian Posts: 1,051
    We are on sandy soil and there hasn't been any real rain for a few months but most of the plants are actually fine in the gardens (the local woods and grasslands look like they need a biblical flood to bounce back). I only water anything that looks like it's flagging or is still establishing, a few things have been lost but they create new opportunities for next year.
    I worry more about the wind than the sun tbh. We all know that sun dries the plants and tend to water because of it but we often forget they will be dry when it's windy and perhaps not sunny and it's when we lose more. A bit of sun shouldn't be to much bother for most things but I do put things in the shade where possible just so I don't have to water them as much as all the water butts (we habe 5 big ones) dried up long ago. 

    I haven't seen it mentioned above with the other good advice but remember greenhouses will be roasting and wetting the floors and shading them might be invaluable. 
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