Important task gardeners must do ‘now’ so plants can ‘combat stress from drought’

Houseplants: RHS advises on watering techniques

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Kate Turner, Miracle-Gro®’s gardening guru has shared her tips for watering plants during hot weather. The gardening expert said it’s “tricky” to water plants at the moment because it’s “really dry”. Gardeners should first choose their plants “wisely” and use a compost that has “moisture control” in it.

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She exclusively told “We do a peat-free moisture control compost for hanging baskets and containers. That really helps.”

Kate suggested feeding plants now to make them “stronger and healthier”, and to help them combat any stress from the heat.

She explained: “If you’re not feeding, now would be a really good time to put a liquid feed in your watering can and give your plants a feed.

“The stronger and healthier a plant is, the more it’s able to combat any stress from drought.”

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For those using tap water, allow it to sit for a bit before watering younger plants so it’s not too cold.

“Sometimes it can give them a bit of a shock,” she said.

For those with lots of containers, like on a patio, balcony or in a courtyard garden, Kate suggested grouping the pots together to make watering them “a lot easier”.

She explained: “If you’ve got lots of pots, group them together because that keeps in the moisture and makes watering a lot easier.

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“If you are having to use a watering can all the time, have your pots close together.

“Water early in the morning or in the evening for less evaporation.

“Try not to water in the middle of the day.”

Beds and borders will also need to be watered in the early mornings and evenings.

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While watering little and often may sound like a good idea, Kate suggested doing the opposite.

Instead, she advised watering at the base of the plant and giving them a “good drench”.

“Give everything a really good soak then you won’t need to do it quite as often,” she added.

Mulch is also a great way to help plants’ soil retain more moisture.

Plants in containers can have a decorative bark put around them or more compost.

Kate suggested using saucers and trays under pots to help hold in water.

For something that’s “really dry”, plunge the pot in a bucket of water, until all the bubbles have gone and then take it out.

Gardening expert David Domoney mentioned a similar trick on ITV’s This Morning earlier this week.

Mr Domoney said the trick “instantly revives” plants that are damaged during hot weather.

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