Garden experts at Dobbies give their top tips on what we should do in the garden during the heatwave.

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Image: Dobbies Garden Centre

According to the latest reports by the Met Office, temperatures are set to rise across the UK, with highs peaking around 33 to 34 Celsius in some parts of the country. So, make sure you've got the best fans to help battle the heat and use plenty of sun cream.

However, weather like this doesn't come round too often in the UK, so if you want to make the most of it and spend time outside, Louise Golden, resident gardener at Dobbies Garden Centres, has compiled her top tips on what to do in the garden during a heatwave...

Be water wise

As temperatures rise, the absence of rain means parched plants, browning lawns and a struggle for Britain’s wildlife to find food, shade and water to drink. Help to conserve water during warmer weather by turning off garden sprinklers and avoid washing cars.

A great way of conserving water is by installing a water butt in the garden. This means you can make the most of any rainfall and don’t have to use extra water from the garden hose or kitchen tap, helping to do your bit towards being more sustainable and saving money on water bills.

Love your lawn

A pitch-perfect Wimbledon worthy lawn may well be put under pressure during high summer months, but established lawns that start to turn brown usually turn green again once rain return – so there is no need to panic if you have and continue to give your lawn the necessary TLC.

Simply make sure to mow less frequently and raise the blade heights to reduce the stress on your lawn. It's also worth checking out the different lawn care ranges that are available.

Keep the right plants hydrated and shaded

There's nothing worse than seeing the tropical garden plants you just planted struggling to survive the heat. It's important to focus your watering on newly planted garden plants in particular as established border plants should have a good root system that is able to reach moisture deeper in the ground and so are under less stress. However, avoid watering in the peak of sunshine. It's always best to water plants in the evening so that they have time to take in the water before the heat of the following day. 

You could also stand container grown plants on saucers of water and if it gets excessively hot, move plants into the shade for periods of the day. The main thing to remember is water thoroughly and less frequently, rather than a little and often. For border plants - water well and then apply a thick mulch of organic matter to help retain the moisture in the soil.

Happy gardener, happy garden

If you are planning on spending some time in the garden pruning, planting or sitting down at your bistro table to dine alfresco, don't forget to wear a high factor sun cream and a hat! 

It's also important to avoid any strenuous activities altogether in hot weather – save the digging for a cooler day. Keep hydrated by taking a reusable water bottle with you when out in the garden or allotment.

Keep pets cool 

When the weather improves, all the family want to be outside basking in the sunshine, including the family pet. However, during heatwaves pets are at high risk of getting heatstroke, so remember to provide them with a shaded spot to shelter under.

Tall trees, an outdoor shelter or even a canopy will provide the perfect shady space for them to settle under.

Feed the birds

Food shortages don't just happen in winter. The RSPB explain that putting food out on bird tables can make a big difference to the survival of young birds. High protein foods are recommended.

It's also good to provide birds and other smaller wildlife with a drinking spot to keep them hydrated. Install a water feeding station or a bird bath to help them keep cool.

 

Got any tips for surviving a heatwave at home? Tweet us @goodhomesmag or post a comment on our Facebook page

 

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