Five top tips for gardening in summer heat waves

26 Jun 2018
3 min read
Sunflower head

Summer gardening tips for hot weather.

The most common response to the heat wave is ‘great weather but my garden could do with some rain.’

The average Brit spends £345 a year on plant and ornaments so, it’s worth ensuring that gardens can survive in all weathers, particularly the summer heat. 

One of the impacts of excessive heat is that plants wilt quickly and the garden need more watering as evaporation increases. Hotter, drier summers are becoming more frequent in the UK due to global warming. However, heat waves mean that hosepipe bans are more likely. Therefore, ensuring your garden can continue to bloom in hot weather but also with less water is essential. This means choosing plants wisely, using water carefully and following some of One Home’s great gardening tips.

Five Top Tips to Ensure Your Garden Thrives in Hot Summers

These five top tips will help to ensure your plants survive the long dry summer.

  1. Fit and use water butts to harvest rain water from your roof.
  2. Use watering cans rather than a hose or sprinklers.
  3. Water plants at the roots in the early morning or evening during the hot summer to avoid evaporation.
  4. Add mulch covering, such as wood chip or bark, on beds and borders and remove weeds.
  5. If it is very hot let the grass grow a bit longer by adjusting the height of the lawn mower blades.

Choose Drought-Resistant Garden Plants

Child with watering canEnsuring your garden can continue to bloom in hotter weather and with less water involves choosing where possible, drought-resistant plants and shrubs. Your local garden centre will be able to advise you on plants that don’t need watering every day and suit your growing conditions.

The Royal Horticultural Society has a list of plants that can thrive in drought conditions as well.  For more ideas, a great read is The Royal Horticultural Society publication called Gardening in a Changing Climate which illustrates how gardens will be impacted by global warming and how to adapt practises, so gardens are more resilient.

Saving Water in the Garden

Saving water in the garden is important because in the summer, up to 70% of the tap water we use at weekends can be for the garden! The average roof collects enough water to fill 450 water butts every year, so why not add one or two to your garden?

Water butts are a great way to save water and reduce water bills and are always welcome during periods of water restrictions. Water butts allow you to capture recycled rain water for use in the garden and car washing. Water butts cost from just £25 depending on size and style and are available from DIY stores and garden centres. They are light weight and really easy to fit by removing a section of the down pipe where water runs off the roof. For more ideas about saving water please see the Consumer Council Watchdog for Water

Water for Wildlife

Garden bird on a bird bathDuring the summer heat, many sources of water for wildlife dry up and like us, animals are extra thirsty. Putting out an old bowl or any container with water in your garden provides a welcome drink for birds and other wildlife. In this hot weather it will be much appreciated and hopefully attract new animals into your garden.

Ways to Create Shade in Your Garden

As lovely as sunny days are, it is important to make sure you and your family don’t melt in the heat or get burnt.

If your garden lacks shade, then parasols, awnings, gazebos or sails can all provide attractive ways to provide instant relief from the direct heat of the sun. They not only help to keep you cool on hot days but also provide cover from the sun’s harmful rays. Therefore, having adequate shade in your garden is a good idea for health and wellbeing, particularly as summer temperatures continue to break records due to global warming.

Finally, if you are going away on holiday then ask friends or neighbours to pop round and do the watering. It is the sense of community that makes where we live feel special as well as the beautiful gardens.



The information in this article was correct at the time of writing and is provided for guidance only. Please see the full disclaimer in our terms and conditions.

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