Dealing with summer heat - Darren Wogman Gets Gardening

  While spring has been a very wet one this year, already plants are suffering from the summer heat, which leads to them not having enough water at their root systems. Water companies are maybe thinking about hosepipe bans and so how to use water efficiently and to benefit your garden is highly important.      Established large plants such as trees and shrubs are mostly ok. They have a greater spread of roots underground than there are branches, twigs and leaves about ground. There is a balance between the plant’s ability to draw water from the ground and the amount of growth attained above ground, and in a dry year, the growth rings of trees will be closer together than in wet years. Dendrochronology is the science of mapping tree rings from this data and tells us how the moisture has affected tree growth, enabling trees to be dated accurately. Plants can absorb nutrients only in soluble form, and in dry conditions the growth will slow down tremendously. A really good wat

Darren Wogman Gets Gardening - 7 Gardening Tips for Beginners

Starting off..

Plenty of studies show the impact of gardening on mental health. Being out in fresh air, hearing the birds chirping and getting your hands dirty are all great ways to relax, structure your day and keep busy in a nurturing and productive manner.

Gardening is a broad hobby. It's useful to think about what your ultimate goals are so that you can plan accordingly. Don't be afraid to dream big!

Maybe you're looking for slow and steady project growing bushes or shrubs to provide edging or screening. You could be planning a flower meadow or even just a patch of grass to sit on and enjoy.

Vegetables and fruits are a popular option for beginners and these have the added benefit of producing something usable for you, your family or even your community. Growing your own foods in your garden can be highly rewarding. It's a great way to make sure you're getting your 5-a-day and makes the gardening more outcome orientated, which can be very helpful to keep things on track. Often, edible plants have attractive flowers and leaves which makes them meet two purposes - food and appearance.
Gardening isn't just limited to digging and soil. Water gardening is a whole sub-category of gardening used to create aquatic landscapes or areas within the garden for water features or ponds. These allow you to have water lilies and other aquatic plants (or animals!) on display. This isn't an area I'm so experienced with, but watch this space.

Choosing the right plants for your garden is one of the most important steps for garden designing, prudent maintenance and upkeep. Choosing the right plants depends on a number of factors, such as the amount of available space (plants grow, sometimes rapidly and this needs to be properly planned for), type of soil, aspect (sun direction) and other environmental conditions such as wind exposure.

If you've managed to pick the right plants for your garden, everything else becomes much easier and will even save you a fair bit of money too!

A well managed gardens can also help contribute to local biodiversity, encourage wildlife and help do your small bit for climate change. Fast growing and sturdy plants are more likely to sequester or 'lock up' carbon in the atmosphere, helping to reduce your carbon footprint.

7 Tips For Gardening


1. Know your Land

Plant don’t grow everywhere, so what you plant is determined by where you live. Look at the characteristics of your garden from the climate and sun exposure (aspect), it’s most important to start with because you have to understand the limits and properties. Talk with someone who work in a local garden centre and ask them about the best options for your garden. Often, local areas will share many of the environment characteristics so getting advice is key to success!

2. Test Your Soil

To test your soil, you can send a sample of earth to a local nursery. Home testing kits are also available online both on Amazon and from specialist retailers.

The results will tell you how acidic or alkaline your soil is, which affects how plant absorb nutrients and what is likely to grow well in your garden.

3. Start with easy plants

Vegetable planting is a fun introduction to gardening. They don’t take much time to grow, if you make a mistake you've not wasted months of your time. Sunflowers are a good option for growing because they can have vigorous growth and tend to be quite hardy, even in the British climate.

4. Produce a Plan

While choosing plants you must know how they're likely to grow, how much space they will take up and what their nutrient demands are. You need to plan for the garden you want, not just what you have already.

There's no point planting a vigorous grower next to plants that require strong sunlight. However, a shade tolerant plant might be well suited there.

5. Keep a Journal

A journal is an essential piece of kit. You should make sure to jot down the dreams for the garden and the inspiration you've had. It is a great way to track of garden activity. It is also used for keeping information about the interesting plants. You can use it as a reminder to include them in your garden next year.

6. Set a Reminder

Different activities need to happen at different times of the year. You need to be organised and set a dated well in advance, especially if you're planning on doing a lot of planting out. Generally speaking, you want to about the hot and dry summer months and make sure plants are well bedded in during the early spring, when the sun is out, but the ground is still soft and wet. This allows good root growth, which the plant will be relying on in the later months.

Winter is usually pruning and tidying season, not much can be sown. But, the work you do here will pay you dividends when things come into bloom.

7. Provide water. Little and often.

No doubt that the British climate is usually, very wet. This is great for plants, especially when new. You must take care to ensure that they are properly irrigated in the direr summer months. Especially as the last few years things have been very dry indeed.

Plants need water and sunlight. If they don't have enough of either of these, you'll be in trouble. Likewise, they can have too much of a good thing! Make sure plants are in well-drained soil to avoid waterlogging.

Adequate space, sunlight, water and, on occasion, feeding are all crucial elements to get right for any garden.


Darren Wogman


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