Although there was a bit of talk about the heatwave returning for the August Bank Holiday weekend, it seems that we’re not going to be in as much luck as originally thought… which is great news for all the ducks out there but less exciting for anyone who had plans to spend the long weekend out in the garden, tending their plants, flowers and trees.
But just because you might be caught in a downpour doesn’t mean that you should spend your days staring out wistfully at your garden through the kitchen window. Pull on a mackintosh, find your galoshes and brave the elements… there are still jobs to be done – rain, snow, tidal wave, whatever.
There are actually a lot of jobs to be done out in the garden that are better achieved when the weather is slightly on the soggy side, such as pulling up pesky plants like thistles and dandelions. You can get the entire taproot out in one piece more effectively when the soil is wet, so if you’ve been neglecting your weeding of late the Bank Holiday represents the perfect opportunity for you to get some of the more annoying jobs done and dusted.
You might also want to tackle your compost heap and take advantage of the wet weather to turn it, mixing the dry and wet layers together. And have a good look at your flower and plant pots while you’re outside as waterlogged pots can kill your container plants if you’re not careful.
And don’t forget that this is also the perfect opportunity to do a little bit of rainwater harvesting. We’ve had drought conditions for what feels like an age thanks to all that lovely summer sun and to your plants a bit of rain will be a welcome respite from all the heat. You can give your houseplants a treat at the same time by collecting rainwater and feeding them, although don’t be afraid to put them outside for a few minutes when the rain is gentle so they can have a lovely big drink.
If you haven’t already got one, invest in a good water butt. Not only can this save you on your metered water bills but your plants will also thank you since rainwater doesn’t have any minerals or chemicals added to it, so it’s far kinder to your plants than tap water.
It can also reduce rainwater runoff from flowing into your drains and you can have them to fit any size garden, so even if you have a tiny space outside a water butt can still prove very beneficial indeed.
Or you could get yourself a rainwater kit to fit in your greenhouse near the gutter end. This will channel water into your water butt to help you conserve it and keep it near the plants in your greenhouse – so watering will instantly become that bit more efficient!
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