How to Look After your Garden during a Heatwave

Year after year, the UK usually gets hit with a heatwave that can last anywhere between a day and a month. As much as some of us enjoy the heat and the constant sunshine, some worry that their garden will dry out or certain garden features will get affected by the constant heat and lack of rain. Read our handy guide for the best tips on looking after your garden during a heatwave.

Best Water Conservation Tips

For the environmentally-conscious, conserving water in an efficient way is very important especially if there are talks of a drought or even a hose pipe ban. 

The best way to collect water and 'recycle' it back into your plants, is to invest in a Water Butt, these are usually inexpensive and worth every penny. The best place to set these up are directly under your house gutters; so rain water will always find its way into your water butt. 

Not only does this save you money when it then comes to watering your plants, but it can also prevent floods in your area, as you're giving this rain water a 'home' until it's needed. 

Handy Tip

If your gutters are under trees and leaves and twig tend to fall in them, use a Water Butt Treatment in the collected water, and try to clear your gutters twice a year to prevent a huge build up. 

Caring for Plants during a Heatwave 

We all worry that our newly-planted flowers, or maybe our re-flowering plants will dry out and die in this extreme heat. 

To retain moisture and prevent the soil from becoming too hot, we recommend spreading a layer of Woodland Mulch on top of your Top Soil. The best time of year to do this is late Spring, but can still be done now with so many more months of heat to be expected.

Use your recycled water from your water butt, and try to water your plants early in the morning or late in the evening. Stick your finger into the soil to ensure the soil is moist enough. It's best to drench your plants every few days as opposed to lightly watering them everyday. 

When it comes to Growing Fruit and Veg, try and harvest your produce sooner rather than later, as some plants may become heat-stressed and pass the point of no return. Depending on the vegetation, harvesting should encourage more to grow, when the conditions might have cooled down by that point.  

Caring for Turf Grass during a Heatwave

We generally recommend laying Turf Grass during warm, rainy weather; March, April and May tend to be best, or the other side of the Summer such as September and October. However, whether you have just laid Turf rolls or have a laid lawn that is years old, these tips should help you.

For newly-laid Turf, soaking them through within the first week is really important, especially during this weather. The ground should be prepped and watered before the Turf rolls are laid, more information can be found on our How to Lay Turf article. The grass should then be watered twice a day; early in the morning and late at night to avoid the water scorching in midday heat. 

For lawn gardens that have been long since laid, there are lots of things you can do to try and keep your grass green in the heat. Firstly, try and water at least once per day late in the evening, for the same reasons as stated above. Secondly, try and remove any weeds that will be taking the nutrients away from your grass. Lastly, aerate your grass with a pitch fork by firmly digging this 2 - 6 inches into the ground. 

Caring for Artificial Grass during a Heatwave

Now we've discussed how to maintain your traditional Turf Grass, we thought we'd go into how to look after your Artificial Grass during a heatwave.

If you already have an Artificial Lawn laid, you would have already noticed that the temperature can significantly increase after a few hours of sunshine. 

To try and keep your Artificial Grass as cool as possible, we would recommend lightly watering the area to prevent the heat penetrating the grass blades as much. If you complete this in the morning, it can cool your fake grass for a few more hours. 

What some of our customers will also do, is lay a heat reflective material across the grass; the same sort of thing you can use in your car. This is a very effective way of keeping the heat off the grass during the hottest parts of the day. 

Lastly, and this is especially important if you have pets or children that use this artificial lawn, try to set up a Parasol to cover the main parts of the grass. This is the best way of ensuring the grass doesn't heat up in the first place, and the shade will keep it cool enough for small paws or feet to walk across safely.  

Caring for Wildlife during a Heatwave

Wildlife is a very important consideration during a heatwave, and something that we can do a lot to help during this heat!

Many of you might get birds visit throughout the year, which you put food out for. This is even more important in this weather, as the lack of rain water prevents worms from coming to the surface for birds to find. Although, you could always keep a small patch of your garden thoroughly watered, digging up the soil each day for small birds to peck at.

Ensuring there is accessible water in your garden is really important for birds. You can easily do this by purchasing a Bird Bath; many garden centres will sell freestanding ones or hanging ones. Not only will birds drink from this, but they will also bathe in it to cool themselves down. Ensure this is refilled every day with fresh, cool water.

For furry/spiky friends that might visit during the night looking for food and water, you can help these animals by leaving out a dog bowl full of fresh, cool water. 

For those of you that own ponds and are worried about controlling the heat and protecting your scaley friends during hot weather, take a look at this article on Tips for Protecting Fish in Summer Heat

Caring for Decking during a Heatwave

There are two types of Decking on the market; traditional Timber Decking and Composite Decking. As suppliers of the environmentally-friendly Composite Decking, we'll give you some tips below on how to keep this nice and cool during a heatwave. 

Firstly, when considering where to install your Decking, consider areas that are half in the sun and half in the shade. Many people like walking straight out onto their Decking, which can mean it gets protected by the shade of their house, depending on the time of day. This can really help with keeping it cool. 

Next, why not consider a modern and quirky garden rug for your decking? Many homeware shops and garden centres sell these in varying sizes and designs; it'll make your decking look super trendy, as well as keeping it cool underfoot. 

Finally, if neither of these options are applicable and you're finding that your plastic decking is getting hot under bare foot, try following the same tip for Artificial Grass and misting it with cool water in the morning, to prevent it from absorbing so much midday heat.

More tips on this can be found here.  

Caring for Garden Paving during a Heatwave

Many of us have experienced hot garden paving, especially on holiday when we get out the pool and have run across the porcelain tiles to avoid our feet getting burnt! Fortunately, UK weather doesn't tend to get hot enough to heat our garden paving up as much, but these paving slabs will still become very warm. 

Using the tips mentioned above can be really helpful in protecting your paving slabs from the heat. We also recommend wearing shoes when walking across your garden patio for extra protection, especially babies and children. 

If you're considering buying paving slabs, consider the colour choices if you're laying these paving slabs in full sunshine; lighter colours won't get as hot as darker colours such as dark grey paving slabs or black paving slabs. 

View our range of Paving here.

Looking for all-year-round colour and greenery in your garden, without the maintenance? Check out our popular Artificial Living Walls