If you're worried about your garden and plants over the next few days as the temperatures continue to soar and the hose pipe ban comes into force, there's only one man to turn to for advice. Check out these top tips from Paraic Horkan of Horkan's Garden Centre
"Remember this is fantastic gardening weather ideal for adding instant colour from Roses - Hydrangeas - Petunias, scented stocks and summer patio plants which will flower from now until early winter and it's also ideal weather for controlling garden weeds and giving your garden a good tidy up!
What to do in your Garden in Hot (Hot!) Weather
In a hose ban Watering in the Garden.
1. Water - Water - Water - it's kind of obvious but sometimes we waste so much time and water by OVERWATERING PLANTS in Hot weather.
My Tip: Water the soil not the plant - When watering pots and containers or plants in the garden soil - Water the compost or soil heavily and then Leave alone for several days - THERE IS NO NEED TO BE WATERING EVERY EVENING / DAY.
2. Water plants in the cool of the evening - Less water evaporation and plants have time to absorb the water before the heat of the following day.
3. Recycle water - kitchen water that contains washing up liquid or liquid soaps is ideal to use on both edible and flowering plants - if anything the soap will wash any greenfly or bugs away and the water is perfect for plants - you can also use water on plants that has been used to boil Potatoes & Veg ( make sure it is cool) it's full of plant nutrients from the veg & potatoes.
4. Use a Automatic irrigation system if you have lots of hanging baskets and window boxes - This device comes on at night - releases a small amount of water to the hanging basket compost for 5 minutes and then stops - it only releases a small amount of water each night and keeps your baskets blooming all summer ( used in all the fantastic hanging baskets displays in pubs etc)
5. Apply a 3 inch layer of bark mulch or mushroom compost or peat to conserve moisture in the soil and help keep the suns rays from hitting directly onto your soil. Mulch helps to stop the soil moisture from evaporating lawns
1. Don't mow your Lawn too tightly - it's tempting to do so but closely mowed grass exposes the soil to the direct sunlight - leave it two inches. long at the moment.
2. Don't water your Lawn - Your grass may go brown but when rain arrives it will re grow and green up again. Lawn seed comes from africa and asia so it can put up with hot dry spells.
3. Don't sow new Lawns at the moment - You can certainly get the soil weed free and tilled and ready for sowing the seed BUT don't sow the lawn seed until rain is promised - WAIT until rain is promised - dew at night is not enough at the moment.
Hanging Baskets - Window boxes.
1. When planting hanging baskets and containers use Water retentive gel ( same ingredient that's used in disposable nappies to absorb liquids) Water retentive gel absorbs water like a storage unit and releases this water back to plants as the compost begins to dry
2. Use a gardena automatic watering system for hanging baskets, window boxes and in greenhouses and tunnels - it only gives a small amount of water directly onto the compost or soil - this helps to eliminates water wastage and directly applies a small measured amount of water to the plants / compost
3. Water plants in the cool of the evening - Less water evaporation and plants have time to absorb the water before the heat of the following day.
4. Recycle water - use water on plants that has been used to boil Potatoes & Veg ( make sure it is cool) it's full of plant nutrients from the veg & potatoes or use kitchen sink water or bath water
5. Use ice cubes of recycled water - Ice cubes will release water slowly and controlled in hanging baskets or patio containers and water - perfect in containers as a slow released water source.
Tomatoes - Potatoes - Veg garden.
Plants that bear fruit or produce tubers like Tomatoes & Potatoes need regular watering and - feeding - i recommend you water heavily with recycled kitchen / bathroom water and then leave for a couple of days before re watering. Feed with tomato feed every ten days.
Call Paraic on Landline 094 9026997 - Mobile 0876779704