Alan Titchmarsh advises gardeners on watering their plants
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Sunshine is here as, after weeks of thundery downpours, summer has finally arrived in the UK. While the sunshine is good news to most as it means longer, brighter and warmer days, it can be a hard time for plants and greenery to get through. Maintaining a lush lawn can feel like a huge chore, even more so if there are restrictions in your local area on how much water you can actually use, such as a hosepipe ban. According to one expert, however, you may not need as much water as you’ve been led to believe to achieve the perfect lawn.
How often should you water your lawn in hot weather?
According to the Royal Horticultural Society, just one hour with the hosepipe on full blast uses as much water as the average person drinks in a whole week.
The gardening experts say water is a precious resource, which is under strain from the effects of climate change, population increase – so while you may be tempted to head out with the hosepipe today, it may be prudent to hold back.
The RHS advice reads: “Lawns require great quantities of water for thorough irrigation, and this is a questionable use of a scarce resource for any other than high-quality lawns or sports turf.
“Instead of watering in dry periods, mow less closely and less frequently.
“Brown patches usually recover when the autumn rains return.”
The UK’s lawn expert, David Hedges-Gower, says you don’t need as much water as you may have been led to believe to achieve that perfect green lawn – even in the summer.
According to Mr Hedges-Gower, you don’t need to be constantly watering your lawn.
Writing for the Mail Online, the lawn expert said: “Over the bank holiday, during the first prolonged sunny spell of the year, hundreds and thousands of eager gardeners got their sprinklers out and turned on the taps.
“It was unnecessary – and a shocking waste of water.”
Mr Hedges-Gower added: “We have just limped through the fourth-wettest May on record, the soil won’t patch and crack at the first glimpse of the sun during a British summer.
“And even if we do have a prolonged dry spell, such as the drought of 2018, there really is no need to water your lawn.”
In fact, according to the expert, there are numerous valid and good reasons to do the complete opposite.
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Grass is “a super-plant, it’s nearly indestructible”, he said, but under a scorching sun, any grass can turn brown. However, that’s no reason to panic and get the sprinklers out.
Mr Hedges-Gower added: “When the rains return, healthy grass will quickly revive.”
The experts at LoveTheGarden.com say grass can actually survive a “couple of weeks” without rain, so you certainly don’t need to get the hose out every day.
However, “after this period you will notice symptoms of stress” – so if you do need to hydrate your lawn, there are some simple tips to follow.
Expert David Domoney said to try watering earlier in the day, as this means the” water can reach the soil more effectively rather than the majority evaporating due to the heat from the sun.”
He added: “In dry periods, a top tip is to not mow the lawn too closely, because the longer the blades, the more moisture that the lawn can retain.
“This means you won’t be continuously watering the garden, especially if resources are scare and there is a hosepipe ban.”
So, in short, your lawn doesn’t need to be watered much at all in the UK seeing as the weather changes so often.
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