While many of us are enjoying the beautiful sunshine and high temperatures, the dry weather can cause some problems for our gardens
Rising temperatures, coupled with the lack of rain, means gardens up and down the country are full of parched plants and browning lawns.
To help you keep your outdoor area looking its best during this hot spell, resident gardener and Senior Plant Buyer at Dobbies, Louise Golden, is offering her tips on watering in the heat.
1. Keep calm and carry on
Don't worry if you have an established lawn that has started to brown - it should return to its normal green once it rains again. You should be mowing less frequently while your lawn is like this, and also raise the blade height to reduce the stress being placed on your grass.
2. Timing is everything
You should prioritise watering any newly planted garden plants. However, make sure you do not water them during the hottest parts of the day - instead, give your plants a much-needed drink in the evening. This will allow them to drink up the water before the heat of the following day. When you do this, you should water at the base of the plant, instead of over the top - this ensures it will get to where it is needed.
3. Throw some shade
You should also try to move any potted plants into the shade. If you have any beds or borders, you can always create your own shade with a beach umbrella or parasol to help them.
4. Protect your patio
Adding water retaining gel to the compost of your patio pots when you plant them will be a good move, as it helps to reduce the watering requirements. Your generally established border plants should have a good root system, so they can reach the moisture deeper in the ground - it will therefore be best to focus your attention on the new or shallow rooted plants which will be under greater stress.
5. Less is more
It's also better to water thoroughly on a less frequent basis, instead of little and often. For your border plants, you should water them well before applying a thick mulch of organic matter that will help to retain the soil's moisture.