Saved by the rain? Well may be.

It rained here last night. A long very gentle soaking. If  that feels good in a bath, imagine what it must feel like for plants – because its their life blood as well.

Anything which was planted last autumn and winter and especially any later, like spring, will need careful watching for signs of drying out in hot, dry spells. We have had two of these already this year. So the water wagon has already been out in my garden.

The hose only stretches 70 metres and after that its uphill so the pressure would be so lousy that an extension would make little difference. The only way across any intricate areas is with a can anyway. Otherwise you end up wasting lots of costly water. So if you can reach all your garden with a hose you are quids in!

Actually this is not as bad as it sounds. The barrow with its inner containers, which stop too much water slooshing about and over the sides, contains 90 – 100 litres and makes a significant contribution to keeping plants alive.

I am very careful to stop moving things well before it warms and drys up. I move in the autumn and winter no more than I reckon I can support in the following summer.

I also watch for any signs of cracking between the planting pocket of the things I have moved and the main body of the soil around. If you let this develop, the water you then apply just goes down round the outsides of the pocket and into the substrate! I also make sure the planted perennial has a slight dip in the soil surface around it so that all the water I give it, it gets. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing the water trickle away down the slope away from your wilting treasure!

So the rain was manna from heaven.

But, it is quite interesting to put a bowl out and see just how much water actually falls in a shower of rain and then compare that to how much you might apply in watering. It may have rained, but do not rely on that being the whole answer. Scratching the surface of the soil around the plant with a digit will tell you how much use the shower has been.

Apologies for banging on about this – it is primarily aimed at the clients who have had their gardens planted up according to our designs over the autumn and winter and who may need a gentle prompt!

R

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