I write this article the last thing on my mind
is the liklelihood of a shortage of water for
the garden. At present everything needs wringing
out and that includes my clothes. In England,
especially in the Southern counties, there are
already areas with hosepipe bans and it could
happen in Northern Ireland. It
has in the past.
I don’t know about you
but I’m not the type to try and dispense
the bath water around the plants.
way to conserve the available moisture in the
soil is to mulch with bark or gravel to prevent
it from evaporating. It is worse that pointless
applying a mulch to soil that has dried out.
The layer will stop rain percolating through
to the soil. Dishing the soil around plants
in the area of the roots allows the rain to
remain where it is required rather than run
to the lowest point where it may be wasted.
Where supplies of water are
restricted use what is available on recently
planted trees and shrubs. Fork up the top few
inches of compacted soil to allow water through
to the roots. If you have a pond set containers
of plants into the water to soak the compost
from the base. Move pots and containers away
from the strongest mid-day sun to reduce evaporation.
House plants can be set outside
for the summer. Keep them in their pots and
plunge them into the borders where they will
enjoy their holiday. Rain will mark the hairy
leaves of begonia and Saint paulia so keep them
indoors but away from strong sunlight.
butts are a great way to store rainwater directed
from the house, garage, shed and greenhouse
roofs. Make sure that the barrels are clean.
Wrapping an old pair of tights over the end
of the down pipe will filter out debris such
Don’t use this water to
irrigate seedlings. It probably contains fungus
spores causing young, tender plants to die due
to damping off and botrytis. At the end of the
dry spell( if there is one) empty the barrels
and clean them out with a fungicide.
If the worst comes to the worst
you can turn the garden over to Mediterranean
plants such as citrus and olives!
It may not happen but if it
does don’t moan. Would you prefer a wet
to John's index page