Garden expert’s tips on protecting garden plants from the sun

Gardening: Francis Tophill advises on watering plants without a hose

With warm weather predicted for many areas in the UK this weekend, many Britons will be out and about in their gardens.

To help prevent plants dying, there are different jobs to do to ensure they do not become damaged from the sun.

Nick Wood from Gardening Express said: “Obviously sun is good for our plants, but some thrive off of it more than others so it is important to know what needs to be taken care of in your garden as the weather begins to pick up.

“For some plants, too much sun can cause damage, and can even cause them to wilt in severe cases and of course it can be really frustrating for gardeners if this happens.

“There are a few small things you can do like moving the plants into shade and watering them at the right time to help protect them from the sun.”

Some areas of your garden will get more sun than others so take time to familiarise yourself with which plants thrive in the sun, and which ones don’t.

Of course Britons will want to be watering their plants throughout the warm spell, but it is important to either do this in the morning or in the evening, with the evening preferable.

Watering plants at the hottest point of the day won’t really benefit them because the sun will end up drying all of the water.

The expert explained: “It needs to be done when it’s slightly cooler to give the plants the chance to really soak everything up.

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Avoid thinking your plants need more water in heat as this isn’t necessarily true and you could end up over-watering them.

“Aim to water plants once a day, giving them a good drench will allow the water to seep deep into the soil and get to the deep roots.

“A common mistake people make is thinking plants need fertiliser in warmer conditions to make them stronger. You should actually avoid using fertiliser because when it is applied, it triggers the plant to grow, meaning more nutrients and water is needed.”

This is often hard to keep up with in hot weather conditions, so make sure to avoid feeding them until it has cooled down for a while.

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Just like humans, plants will appreciate some shade when the weather gets too warm, especially between the hours of 2pm and 5pm.

If plants are in containers, simply move them to a shaded area, but if they are in a flower bed, hang a white bedsheet or curtain over them to protect them.

The gardening pro continued: “Soil dries out quicker in higher temperatures, so it’s a good idea to lock in the moisture once you’ve watered your plants, especially if they require moist soil. 

“Mulch is a layer that you can put on top of your soil to act as a bit of a barrier between the sun and the soil to prevent it from drying out.

“Pots can make a difference to how much sun can access plants. Black pots will attract the heat, which can damage your plants. Similarly, pots like terracotta that are left unsealed can lose moisture quickly which means that your plant is at risk of being dehydrated.

“Aim to get pots that are sealed and light in colour in order to reflect the sun and give your plant the best environment when the sun is out.”

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