Gardening: How to create a watering tool for your plants
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Rainfall can be sudden and unpredictable in the UK, especially during the warmer months. Protecting your plants from extreme weather isn’t always easy to do when you’re caught off guard, so what can you do to rescue a drenched garden? From pest control to soil drainage, there are plenty of quick fixes that will put your plants in good stead after unexpected showers. Here’s how to do it.
Check on your vegetable garden
Gardens love rain, and it can be a welcome refreshment during bouts of humid weather.
While a heavy downpour can be good for growing crops, vegetable roots are particularly susceptible to damage from the wind and force of the water falling on the soil.
For this reason, it is important to always check on vegetable roots to make sure they are not left exposed by the harsh weather.
If you notice the roots are visible, recover them with soil or fresh compost to prevent drying out.
Your crop could fail if you forget to do this, so make it a top priority if your garden is full of homegrown produce.
Keep an eye out for slugs and snails
These common pests are known to thrive in damp conditions, and you’re almost guaranteed to spot them heading for your plants once the rain has passed.
Sweet peas, dahlias, lettuce, hostas, and all young plants or seedlings are particularly vulnerable to slugs and snails – but there are plenty of easy ways to keep them away.
Coarse ingredients such as sand, eggshells and salt can all be used to line plant borders and vegetable patches in order to keep pests away.
Be sure to keep the deterrent ingredients off of your plants to avoid damage.
Drain pots and planters
A violent downpour of rain can be problematic for most plants, especially those grown in pots and planters.
Check on the soil to make sure there is adequate drainage, adding extra holes to the bottom of pots if necessary.
You can also pour in some compost to reduce excess moisture in the existing pot of soil.
Pick ripe lettuce
Leafy, green lettuce crops will taste even better after a good shower, so start picking your ripe crops as soon as you can.
Not only will the fresh lettuce taste sweet and tender, but it will also give slugs and snails fewer crops to nibble on in your damp garden.
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Weeds can be hard to remove in dry weather, so take advantage of the wet conditions to remove stubborn growth in your garden.
Whether you’re struggling to banish weeds from your lawn, flower beds or pots, now is the perfect time to hand-weed unwanted plants from the root.
The moist soil makes the root easier to remove in one swift motion, without snapping or breaking the weed.
This is more likely to prevent re-growth too, leaving your garden weed-free for longer.
Pick fresh mint
This fragrant herb loves moist conditions and will be even more pungent when picked on a wet day.
Use it in freshly brewed tea to enjoy the deep, natural flavour.
Avoid your lawn
Garden grass can also suffer in heavy rain, especially if freshly sown lawn seed is trying to grow in bare patches.
Avoid treading on the damp turf until it is dry to prevent further damage.
Your plants will require little to no water after a heavy downpour for at least a few days.
Leave your plants to drain away before topping up the soil.
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