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Gardening in changing climates poses challenges for us gardeners, including hot summers and hosepipe bans. Nature struggles to adapt as global temperatures and weather patterns are changing at pace.
To help nature cope, we can implement a dry weather plan and design gardens that will cope with, and hopefully thrive in, arid conditions.
Preparation is key.
- Collect rainwater by installing multiple water butts in your garden or outdoor space.
- Create bottle waterers by repurposing plastic bottles to provide direct watering aid for thirsty plants.
- Mulching with organic materials keeps soil cool, retains water, and prevents weed growth.
- Cluster pots together to simplify watering and create a moist micro-climate.
During dry spells
- Keep a keen eye for signs of thirsty plants and implement your dry weather plan.
- Allow your lawn to grow slightly taller, providing shade and retaining moisture around the roots.
- Prioritize watering needy plants, such as pots and hanging baskets, newly planted shrubs and trees, and herbaceous plants.
- Water early in the morning or late in the evening to reduce evaporation.
- Utilize grey water from showers and dishwashing, ensuring it’s cooled before use.
- Remove weeds that compete for moisture.
- Shade greenhouses to prevent excessive drying.
After a drought
- Firstly, rejoice! Rain rejuvenates your garden. Fork over the soil to break up any crust that has formed and help rainwater penetrate.
- Take note of plant performance to inform future decisions, such as relocating plants to shadier areas.
- Learn from the experience and make additional preparations for the next dry spell.
- Consider designing a garden suited to arid conditions to adapt to the changing climate while still keeping it beautiful. (You can find our tips on planning a drought tolerant here).