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Gardening has been a tough hobby to maintain in summer 2021, as severe weather meddles with green-fingered plans across the country. Summer has both dried out and washed out green spaces across the UK, damaging summer crops as they poke their heads through the ground. Those hoping to keep their garden in fighting shape may want to think about irrigation or changing watering techniques – and Express.co.uk has compiled the advice they need to do so.
Watering is the most straightforward and trickiest aspect of gardening to master.
Beginners often direct the stream of their watering can straight onto the plant once a day and leave it be.
But experts have communicated several effective ways to water plants which will leave gardeners with more vibrant green spaces.
Steve Sutherland, maintenance manager at Landform Consultants, a full service, multi-award-winning landscape consultancy based in Chobham, Surrey, outlined the best methods gardeners can use to hydrate their gardens.
The first place gardeners should shift their attention to, Mr Sutherland says, is the roots.
He told Express.co.uk “a lot of” people often make the mistake of watering the plant canopy – but the roots “absorb and need the water”.
Wetting the leaves is a “waste of time”, he added, and may eventually damage the plant by “spreading the leaves and causing them to scorch in high temperatures”.
Mr Sutherland said: “Make sure you water between 5am and 9am if possible as the plant has time to dry out; watering in the evening can sometimes cause problems as the water can sit around the roots which encourages rot and disease.”
Those who want to give plants the water they need with optimal efficiency should consider irrigation.
The artificial process allows people to direct water around their garden using pipes.
Irrigation also helps remove excess moisture where necessary – and gardeners can set up one of their own.
According to Mr Sutherland, gardens with larger specimens should implement a “hollow pipe inserted that leads down to the plant roots” to distribute water effectively.
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They should take care not to overwater, however, as this can drown the plant.
Gardeners can check which parts of the garden need watering by pushing their fingers under the surface.
While irrigation is vital for keeping a garden in top shape, it also helps the planet.
People can use the practice to reduce the amount of water they need in the garden, according to Mr Sutherland.
He said installing an effective irrigation system will help save the “precious resource” and increase plant productivity.
He added: “Drip irrigation saves time and, compared to using a garden hose, you can reduce consumption by as much as 80 percent which is a significant cost of your annual water bill.
“Irrigation enhances productivity of your plants – it ensures that the plant is actively growing and is a great investment, particularly for fruit and veg plots.
“Water butts are a great way to use rainwater rather than relying on the mains supply.”
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