Watering plants

by Pippa Greenwood

In most years I usually plant some of the more tender veg crops, such as courgette and squash, by late April. If I had done so this year, the plants would be dead by now [...]

Close-up of a gardener pouring water from a watering canIn most years I usually plant some of the more tender veg crops, such as courgette and squash, by late April. If I had done so this year, the plants would be dead by now, as May was so unusually cold. (And I don't even think the chunky bell cloches that I use would have been much help.)

So, I planted them later than usual, and then, last week, they were suddenly subjected to a heat wave! To compensate for this dramatic change in weather I drenched the soil around the plants' roots as often as possible, and applied mulches. I provided them with temporary shade using some leftover pea sticks.

In addition to early-evening watering I also did a fair amount of emergency midday watering, too. When my gorgeous potted osteospermum started to wilt, I couldn't ignore it, could I?

I've continued to sow seeds, although keeping the soil moist is so tricky when it gets very hot. I wonder if the seeds will germinate. To help them along I've created slightly deeper seed drills than usual, each with a drizzle of compost in the base, then watered thoroughly. I've then covered the seeds with a layer of moist soil, and finally a layer of dry soil to seal in the moisture. Hopefully this will result in some decent seedlings!

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Gardeners' World Web User 02/06/2010 at 14:56

Is anyone else having problems with their runner/green beans. Normally by this time of the year they are romping up the canes but this year they have barely grown at all. I have been making sure they are watered but they don't look any higher since the day they were transplanted into the ground in the pots (loo rolls) they were sown in. Anyone any ideas??

Gardeners' World Web User 03/06/2010 at 08:41

Mine have been slow to take off, though they look healthy enough. Our plot is windy and exposed so the beans don't twirl round their poles so confidently. I have had to tie them in some cases.

Gardeners' World Web User 03/06/2010 at 20:29

In the process of squishing red lily beetle find many black beetles same shape as red - are they immature reds? Also despite planting a now 2 year old garden where there were many bee's are counting bee's on one hand. Is it still too early - feel most concerned as love the buzz of early summer - maybe we have to wait until the lavender flowers. PS. As I only have one big fragrant lily in a pot how did they find us?

Gardeners' World Web User 04/06/2010 at 16:00

Have just planted runner beans around 2 wigwams in our new garden (had to dig up the lawn first). They were very slow in growing at first but now seem to growing much better - although I am having to help them latch onto the canes. My first attempt at vegetable growing so fingers crossed.

Gardeners' World Web User 07/06/2010 at 11:34

Hi I'm really not into this whole thing about planting seedlings out whilst still in their loo-roll pots, if the soil gets at all dry the card tends to become pretty well inpenetrable, and root growth is likely to be restricted....and confined within a loo roll I am sure life would soon get pretty difficult! I'd advise growing them in small pots or cells and then planting them out in the usual way......and yes, it is not uncommon to have to tie young beans in initially. Until their growth comes into contact with the support they cannot twine around it as the relevant growth response is not initiated. PG

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