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 - Which Plants Should You Choose - And How To Pick Them

Ultimately, it all comes down to your garden, its local environment and microclimate. How much direct sun is there? Is there shelter from the elements? Perhaps a wall or overhang? Pick in the right spots for the right plants is critical.

Plants that have a vigorous growth habit, that is to say, they are quick growers will need plenty of sunshine and water. Often, they will need a fair amount of deep soil so that they're able to lay down good, strong roots both for anchorage and to provide adequate water and nutrients. One way to keep these plants in check can be to use pots. Plants confined to pots are physically unable to spread and take over your garden. However, care should be taken to ensure that the roots don't get compacted. This can impact on growth, but is only really an issue for large rooted plants like trees.

Fruit-producing plants will also need plenty of sun, and water. Sunshine is like fuel for plants, without it, they won't be able to generate the energy needed to grow large, well-developed and tasty fruits. If you don't have a south-facing garden, good growth on these types of plants can be tricky to overcome. 

Set realistic expectations and make sure you're planting for the garden you have - not just the one you wish you had!

Heavy clay soils can be difficult to work with. They are often compacted or waterlogged, and they can make this difficult for plants and their roots. Delicate plant species will struggle if you have heavy soil, and you may need to put down, and turn in, a lot of compost. On its own, this will only ever be a temporary fix as clay tends to rise up over time. It may be worth building in planting beds.

A planting bed can provide you with a contained area of improved soil, or alternative soil type to the rest of your garden. These should, ideally, be dug out a few feet deep and boxed off. You must line these with an impervious material, to prevent the undersoil from rising through. Perforating this layer is also important so that water drains through.

By contrast, loamy and sandy soils are great for root growth, as the growing roots tips can easily penetrate and this can allow plants to establish quickly, however, they may not retain water well, and growing plants should be closely monitored for signs of drought.


Darren Wogman


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