• Water early morning or late afternoon, to minimise evaporation.
• Lightly mulch beds to keep plant roots cool and moist for longer.
• In hot, dry weather, don’t cut the lawn too low. Leaving it longer shades the roots.
• Trim off dead flowers to encourage new flowers.
• Fertilise annuals and perennials with an organic granular fertiliser in mid-December.
Going on holiday?
If your garden will be watered less often or not at all while you’re away, here are some survival tips:
• Don’t fertilise at all. You don’t want to encourage new growth which needs more water.
• Spread a 1 to 2cm layer of mulch over the soil to conserve moisture.
• Place pot and container plants in the shade or on saucers so that they can use any excess water.
• Pinch off all buds and new growth on the roses. This also saves water.
• Spray the roses with Ludwig’s Insect Spray and Chronos (a fungicide) to repel pests and prevent black spot while you are away.
• Check the automatic irrigation and unblock any spray nozzles so that all the plants receive water.
• After holidays away, don’t mow the overgrown lawn too low. Reduce the height of the lawn gradually over two or three mowings so that it doesn’t burn.