With heavy rain set to sweep across parched areas of England and Wales this week, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is encouraging gardeners to ‘ready their plots’ and absorb as much water as possible.
According to the gardening charity, heavy downpours could result in significant run-off which may not reach plants. From installing water butts to mulching with organic matter, it’s important Brits do what they can to reduce the risk of localised flooding.
“Home and professional gardeners will rejoice when rain finally returns,” Leigh Hunt, Principal Advisor at the RHS, says.
“But to ensure it’s directed where it’s most needed there are some simple things gardeners can do to aid collection, by ensuring water butts and any other rainwater harvesting devices are at the ready, and absorption, such as spiking compacted lawns and building trenches round plants most in need.”
Other things you can do to prepare include:
- Help direct rainwater to where it is most needed by digging out a hollow, dip, or even just a dish-like shallow ring around a plant
- Consider whether you need raised beds
- Install water butts to collect rainwater (this can be used to water your plants or wash the car)
- Digging in or mulching with organic matter, such as well-rotted garden compost can help to store rainfall in beds
Leigh adds: “This summer has undoubtedly proved an endurance test for plants and the 30 million gardeners who tend to them. It will no doubt influence what we will see planted in our gardens and communities and the ways in which plots are managed in the future.”
As well as this, the RHS has said that autumn gardeners can also start to future-proof their plots by viewing them as a flood defence. Some of the things you can do now for the next season includes embracing lawns and beds which are better able to absorb rainwater, and planting trees, shrubs and hedges that help to slow to slow of rainwater via their leaves.