Gardening expert shares ‘only way’ to check whether your plants need watering

Royal Horticultural Society give tips on watering plants

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The heatwave is underway in the UK and has led some gardeners to panic over the effects it will have on their plants. Watering is a key aspect of ensuring your plants say happy and healthy during a heatwave. Experts at The Greenhouse People have shared their top tips for protecting your plants during a heatwave.

When the weather is particularly hot in the UK, a hosepipe ban can be put in place.

While it can be more difficult to water your plants without a hosepipe, it can stop you from over-watering your plants when temperatures rise.

Instead, you can use a watering can and provide focussed watering at the base of the plant so the roots can benefit.

The Greenhouse People also suggest that the best time of day to water your plants in the hear is early in the morning or in the evening.

Plants in containers should be watered twice a day, as soil dries out much quicker in pots.

If you have a water butt, you can also re-use rain water.

The Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Rebecca Bevan has also offered some advice on how to water plants in a YouTube video from 2012.

She said watering correctly can be a “bit of an art” as different plants need different amounts of water.

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Rebecca said lavender, for example, with its narrow, grey leaves is from the Mediterranean so it doesn’t need “too much water”.

She continued: “Whereas, something like lettuce with these fast-growing soft leaves, this is going to need regular watering.

“Now, the only way to check whether your plant needs a drink is to put your fingers in the compost and feel.

“Insert your finger down into the root area.

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“If you can feel moisture down there, the plant is probably going to be alright for another day but if it’s dry, give it a drink now.”

In hot weather, Rebecca recommended doing this more frequently.

She added: “In hot, dry weather you might be checking this every day or two.

“But in cold weather or rainy weather don’t worry, you don’t want to be overwatering plants as wet roots can lead to rot.”

The RHS expert also suggested using a watering can or hose right at the base of the plant so the roots benefit.

Otherwise, you could end up splashing water all over the leaves.

“It’s only really plants in small pots like this one or seedlings that are going to need daily watering,” she said.

“Now this may all seem simple but getting watering right can make all the difference to your garden.”

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