Love Plants' top tips for drought-resistant gardening
17th September 2018
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Gardeners are being advised to heed weather forecasters’ climate change warnings as Shropshire and Mid Wales are likely to face a repeat of this summer’s drought conditions in the future.

Tim Robinson, manager of Love Plants, a specialist plants centre in Shrewsbury, said many gardeners had lost plants and even mature trees during this summer’s drought.

He advised them to carefully consider the plants they select for their gardens and to ensure that they choose the right locations for them.


“All the forecasters are predicting longer spells of hot weather and torrential downpours when it rains in the future,” said Tim. “We therefore need to seriously consider drought-resistant gardening and have come up with some top tips for gardeners.”

Tim’s top tips for drought-resistant gardening

  • Improve the structure of the soil by digging in well-rotted farmyard manure, composted bark or mushroom compost to a depth of 30cms. This will help to retain moisture.
  • Apply the right fertiliser. Do not apply nitrogen as this will encourage leaf growth when plants often shed their leaves in dry weather. Apply phosphorous for the roots which transport moisture into the plant and use high levels of potassium which is good for the general hardiness of plants.
  • Choose plants with silver leaves that are more suited to the Mediterranean climate. These leaves are covered in tiny hairs that reflect sunshine and cope better with drought conditions – plants such as lavender, sages, olives, brachyglotis and buddleia.
  • Put plants in their correct locations: if you have a plant that likes the shade, then put it in the shade otherwise it is likely to struggle to survive.
  • Chose smaller plants. Smaller plants establish a lot quicker than larger ones and once they grow, they will be able to cope with the dry conditions naturally.
  • Ensure that plants are thoroughly soaked before planting and mulch the soil afterwards with bark or a layer to straw covered with gravel.
  • Use Rootgrow whenever you are planting because it encourages a healthy root system and Earthcare Planting Gel to retain moisture around the plant for between three and five years.
  • Keep the weeds down otherwise they will take a lot of moisture from the plants. Try to hoe the weeds in hot weather before they become well established.
  • If planting within a lawn, leave at least a metre of earth around specimen plants, as grass will soak up the moisture.

For more advice about drought-resistant gardening, contact the team at Love Plants.

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