Protect your plants from drought this summer

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Ahhh the long hot days of summer, personally, I can’t wait for them to arrive.

dry soil baked hard by the sun

Soil baked hard by the sun - not a hospitable place for plants.  I won't be seeing many summer flowers growing in this!

One thing I tend to forget though when I’m enjoying my days out and my ice creams is watering the plants in containers.  Especially the hanging baskets.  I’ve lost count of the dead dangly baskets that I’ve shame-facedly taken down and hidden away in the middle of august.

This year is going to be different.

Water retaining granules to improve the soil and reduce the workload

I’ve treated my container plants and the tomatoes in my polytunnel to some of these water retaining granules. 

They mix into the soil and keep up to four times the amount of water in them as ordinary soil.  So while I was planting up my pots last week, I added these to the compost. 

My tomatoes are in raised beds within the polytunnel so I dug a huge hole for each plant and then back-filled it with the soil/granule mixture before planting out the baby toms.

Do they work?

Anecdotal evidence from friends in the horticultural industry says yes, these granules are great – for only £12.00 I bought enough granules to treat over 20 m2 of soil – it’s mixed in at 35g/m2 – so it’s not going to break the bank if it doesn’t work.

Useful for new turf as well as new plants

I’m happy with my current lawn but Dad is planning on turfing the garden of his new home this summer.  He’s moving to an eco-home where managing water and energy are intrinsic to the ethos of the whole development.  So it only seems fitting that he practice Waterwise gardening too.

turf  with water droplets sitting on the blades of grass

Newly laid turf needs to be kept well watered. Water is a precious resource and should be used with care.  Adding water retaining granules to the soil before laying turf will help cut down the amount of irrigation needed in the first few weeks.

I’ll be treating him to a pot or two of these and asking the landscaper to rake them into the soil as he prepares it for turfing…..hopefully they’ll cut down the amount of watering needed to establish the turf and then they’ll help keep the grass greener for longer in the summer time.

Where to buy water retaining granules

Water retaining gel granules are available to order online from soilonline.co.uk.  There are two pack sizes, a 500g for just a few pots and hanging baskets, or the 1Kg for larger projects.

Click here for prices and availability

More About Water Retaining Gel