UK weather: Forecast predicts cloud with light rain and breeze
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August has seen lots of bad weather after talks of a two-week heatwave which we are all still waiting for. While the weather is something nobody can control, learning to live with the unpredictable British summer is vital when caring for your garden . Tailoring your gardening routines to the bad weather is easy with these simple steps to keep your garden thriving.
Weather damage is a silent threat to plants as the problem is not always visible straight away.
As the prime time to plant winter blooms, August weather plays a key role in the growth of your new-year garden display.
This means you’ll need to take extra care of your garden during rainy spells will secure growth on anything you’ve planted in the weeks prior to a bout of bad weather.
So what should you look out for? Express.co.uk rounds up the key signs.
The most common types of weather damage to plants include:
This is caused when high winds follow a drought period and is particularly damaging to young growth.
In coastal areas, salt-laden winds can also be especially harmful, but this is due to the effect of the salt as well as drying, according to The Royal Horticultural Society.
Breakage or tears
The recent wind and humid spells is bad news for your plants as it can cause breakage, leaning, tearing or abrasion.
Wind exposure on plants can prevented by:
- Making sure everything in the garden is well secured against high winds
- Tying climbing plants securely to strong supports
- Keep on top of pruning to prevent damage or weak growth – deadheading your plants will encourage growth when you remove spent blossoms and branches
This type of stop-go growth happens where temperatures and soil moisture fluctuate.
Keep an eye on humidity levels and rainfall – take note of heavy rain periods and make sure your plants are absorbing the water and have good drainage.
Never assume your plants are well watered because it has rained – they may still be over or under watered so check frequently to prevent waterlogging or drought.
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Bud and leaf drop
Caused by lack of moisture, fluctuating growing conditions including frost or wind damage can interrupt the flowering process of buds so check on any plants which are in between bud and flowering.
Wet-weather jobs for the garden
The most important thing to do in your garden on a wet and windy August day is to check the soil drainage of your plants.
Overly wet weather and fewer sunny days can leave your garden at risk of waterlogging so maintaining good soil drainage is key for thriving plants.
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This simple test is a great hack to check that your plants are in good stead ahead of Autumn:
- Dig a hole about 12 inches wide and at least 12 to 18 inches deep.
- Fill the hole with water and let it drain completely.
- Fill the hole again and measure the depth of the water.
- Measure the depth every hour for two or three hours – the water level of well-draining soil will drop at least an inch per hour.
Gardening Know How recommends repeating this test in different parts of your landscape to determine the best position for your plants.
Plants in pots can be insulated against the cold by wrapping them in bubble wrap, alternatively bring them inside if you’ve got room.
Avoid soiled – areas
Unusually wet conditions for this time of year can make soiled areas softer and more at risk of damage so focus on your potted plants and stay away from grassy patches where possible.
Unfortunately there aren’t many ways to protect your grass from bad weather unless you are willing to try and cover large areas of lawn.
Avoiding it is generally a good rule of thumb during summer storms as the water will struggle to drain causing a muddy – wet mess.
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