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26 May 17

Tips to keep your garden blooming through ‘BBQ summer’

With this summer approaching, people up and down the country will no doubt be firing up their bbq and will be planning to begin planting their garden to welcome the hot weather.

Local water supplier, Affinity Water is asking its customers to think carefully about what they plant in their gardens as the last ten months have been much drier than average. With a hot summer a possibility, people are being encouraged to use dry weather resistant bedding plants and are being offered tips to keep their garden healthy to ‘weather’ the dry spell.

Mike Pocock, Affinity Water’s Asset Strategy Director said: ”Despite the recent rainfall in early May, it is important to remember that the last ten months have actually been a lot drier than average.

“With the onset of summer, we continue to ask our customers to use water wisely. Not only is this good for the environment, but it will also save them energy and money.

“It’s important to choose plants that thrive in dry conditions, such as Alyssum, Geraniums, cornflowers French and African Marigolds, Petunias, Aquilegia, Campanula and Heuchera lavender. Look for the full sun symbol on the plant labels when buying new plants as this indicates their tolerance to dry conditions.

Try to make the most of moisture by adding a layer of tree bark, gravel or compost to keep the sun off the soil; this will help retain the moisture”.

Here are some more top tips to help you become a water efficient gardener:

  • Move containers, hanging baskets and pots into shady areas where possible
  • Reset your lawn mower blades to 4cm to encourage dense bushy growth, which traps early morning dew and reduces evaporation
  • When you are watering try use a watering can filled from a water butt.
  • Water your pots and hanging baskets either early in the morning or during the evening to reduce evaporation in the midday sun.
  • A water butt is a great way to make the most of rain water, and using one will also save you money if you are a metered customer.
  • If you’re potting up or planting containers, use ones made from plastic, glazed terracotta or wood. These tend to lose less water than bare terracotta.
  • When potting up your planters use a small amount of gel crystals. They absorb water and can help retain the moisture in the soil.
  • Bury a short length of pipe into your pot; if you water into the tube the water goes directly to the roots where the plant needs it most.
  • Use mulches like bark chips or gravel to retain moisture and keep weeds down.

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