Helping your garden survive heatwaves and drought

It has been a hot summer and according to the Met Office, 2022 was the hottest summer ever recorded. It is likely that we will see more heatwaves and hot summers, like the one in 2022, will become the norm. With this in mind, in our November meeting, SGC members shared ideas on how we can help our gardens survive heatwaves and drought.

Conserve water
  • Stop mowing the grass and don’t water unless newly sown or laid!
  • Only water essentials, such as the veg patch, important pots and seedlings
  • Don’t water in the heat of the day
  • Use the hosepipe sparingly until it is banned
  • Use washing up water and bath water on soil at base of plants
  • Don’t forget insects and birds! Encourage them by providing clean water daily in plant pot saucers
Think about what you’re planting and where
  • Sow veg seed into damp soil and keep them under a fleece stretched over hoops
  • Put mulch onto moist soil, with gravel, slate, bark, grass cuttings, etc.
  • Cluster pot plants together in shady place  
  • Think about mutual shading when you cluster plants together. For example, tomato plants shaded by courgette plants
  • Avoid planting outside in summertime; plants will not thrive
  • Seek out drought tolerant plants, such as pentstemon, stachys, geraniums, begonias, herbs, lavender, succulents, rudbeckias and deep-rooted plants
  • Don’t give up on your plants too soon
    • Cut back, take cuttings (and water with washing up water)
    • Some plants, such as ceanothus, might well die, while others will scorch 
  • Apple and pear crops this year looked good, but many fell early (and were bitter) and sometimes didn’t drop in June. If this happens again, the trees might need thinning by hand

If you have any more suggestions, put them in the comments below.

Photos above taken by Cherry Foster