Gardening: ‘Best time’ to water plants in hot weather – ‘protects against fungal disease’

Gardening: How to create a watering tool for your plants

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With a heatwave on its way, it can be difficult to gauge how often to water plants. Hot, dry weather can cause plants, especially those in containers, to dry out quickly. However, watering plants too liberally can also cause a plethora of problems.

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So how often should Britons be watering their gardens in the summer months?

QVC’s gardening expert Mark Lane has shared how to look after gardens in hot weather, including the best time to water plants and how to keep a lawn looking fresh.

When to water your plants

Mark said the “best time” to water plants is early in the morning when temperatures are cooler.

Any time between 5am and 9am is ideal as this will result in less water being lost to evaporation.

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Mark continued: “Early morning is preferable to late evening watering as the plant can dry off quickly which helps protect against the development of fungal diseases.

“Watering at night can result in water pooling on the soil’s surface, around the roots and on foliage which can lead to fungal growth, rot, insects and even the death of a plant.”

How to keep lawns in shape

Garden lawns are known for becoming dry and dusty at this time of year.

While it may be tempting to drench them in water to compensate for the dry, hot weather, there are actually other steps that could be more beneficial.

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Aerating the lawn will improve draining and reduce the need to feed them.

When you do water them, ensure this is early in the morning between 5am and 9am.

Mark added: “Ideally, mow so that the clippings fall onto the lawn, as this will help conserve water and feed the lawn naturally!”

Add moisture through mulching

Mulching around plants is also useful when it comes to retaining moisture in the heart.

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Mark explained: “Mulching is the act of adding a five to 10cm layer of organic matter on the soil’s surface.

“Ensure the soil has been weeded and watered thoroughly and then apply the mulch.

“This will help reduce evaporation, reduce the amount of watering by as much as two-thirds, keep the moisture for the plants that need it (not the weeds) and can slow run-off during torrential rain.”

A variety of materials can be used as mulch.

Some popular materials include grass clippings, bark, wood chips and cardboard.

Mulching will also control weed growth as it provides a barrier that keeps weeds below the surface.

Most weeds will die due to the lack of sunlight.

Mulches can be added around perennial crops like fruit trees and bushes but will also work well around annual plants in beds and borders.

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