After the frenetic growth of spring and early summer you may feel like sitting back and enjoying a more restful August in the garden, but as always there are lots of jobs to be done as Nathan James Dodd explains.
Going away on holiday? Don't forget that your plants still need regular watering and Hozelock automatic watering is the ideal irrigation solution.
Easy to install, extendable and controlled either manually or by a timer, the Hozelock watering system can be used throughout the year, delivering a regular and controlled water supply through a network of pipes to your garden plants, containers and hanging baskets.
Water flow can be controlled by a small battery operated water timer that is fitted adjacent to the tap. A pressure reducer regulates water pressure to ensure peak performance. A 13mm pipe then transports the water around the garden and feeds into 4mm micro pipes that have drippers to deliver the water to your plants. Also available are micro jets and mini sprinklers that spray borders.
A pressure reducer is fitted when you connect a good quality hosepipe to your tap. It might be useful to invest in a four way tap connector (similar to a four way electric plug) that will enable the system to be connected all the time, leaving spare connections for other tasks.
The water timer completely automates irrigation. This will save you time and will ensure that your garden is regularly watered even when you are on holiday. The length of time your system needs to operate will depend on the time of year, the weather and the type of plants. It's best to experiment to find out what's best for your particular garden.
The 13mm piping that transports the water from the tap is very flexible, UV resistant and long lasting. The network is constructed using Joiners, T Pieces and Elbows with the piping hidden up to 5 cms underground or covered with a mulch.
4mm micro tubing delivers the water to the plant, it's made from hard wearing UV resistant material so kinking is unlikely. T Pieces and in-line connectors are required plus stakes to secure in place.
Any combination of drippers, microjets and mini sprinklers can be fitted, depending on what plants you have and where you have to water. To save water and enable the plants to be watered properly, place the drippers and sprinklers close to roots and in the shade. By doing so, more water will be available to your plants and less will evaporate.
Drippers can be simple or more advanced for container plants and hanging baskets.
Mini Sprinklers are used amongst groups of small plants and at the roots of larger ones and can cover areas up to 3m. They can also be placed upside down above hanging baskets.
Microjets can have 90, 180 or 360 degree coverage to ensure all the flowerbed or border is watered. A mister microjet is designed for delicate plants and seedlings that are under glass.
A Deluxe Micro Irrigation Kit is an ideal way to get started as it includes everything you initially need for a drip system that waters pots, hanging baskets and greenhouse plants, and there are a wide range of companion products available to extend and customise your system.
All the necessary parts, and other Hozelock watering products, are available on Gardensite, remember that your plants at home require the same refreshment in the summer sunshine as you will be enjoying on your holiday.
Nathan James Dodd
Looking to buy a timber planter but not sure what to purchase? David Coton provides some helpful advice on the many different designs that are available and how they can transform your patio and garden.
Log burners and open fires have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the past few years. Andy Taylor explains how you can have a continuous supply of dry, well seasoned, wood by investing in a log store.
With spring well under way, you may be considering buying a greenhouse, Andy Taylor tells you how this will increase your chances of successfully growing a wider variety of plants over a longer period of time.
March is the time when spring arrives and you can enjoy getting back into your garden. Andy Taylor looks at what gardening jobs can be done now the days are getting warmer and lighter outside.