Top tips for landscaping in hot weather
Use landscaping products that cope with the heat
Don’t forget to check all materials for optimum temperatures; slurry primer, cement, jointing compounds etc. Some may not be suitable to use in high temperatures. As paving can stay warm well into the evenings, you’re best off sealing or jointing first thing in the morning.
As a rule, tile grouts can cope with higher temperatures (ProGrout can be used up to 30°C) and ready mix permeable jointing compounds like EasyJoint and Joint-It can be great for all weathers, just keep constantly wet as you apply. However, all products are different, so always read the label and talk to your supplier!
Design for drought
When planning your space, choose plants that cope well with dry conditions as they’ll need much less watering. Always look for those that are suited to your soil type and position. Plants that are native to warm dry climates are an especially good idea if you have poor soil and a sunny spot.
Those with small leaves, silvery foliage (like lavender) and succulents will cope well with hot, dry weather, as will many ornamental grasses.
A gravel garden suits these types of plant as they need well drained soil. Gravel can also be a low maintenance option as you’ll have less weeding and mulching to do. Choose from a wide variety of decorative aggregates and gravel to suit your style. Find out more about how much gravel to use.
When planning your garden, think about conserving water with water butts and drainage, so when it’s dry you have plenty of rainwater. You’ll save on bills and your plants will be better off.
If you do need to water, do so less often but more thoroughly to encourage roots to go deeper. Water in the evening, or better still, early morning when the ground is cooler so less will evaporate.
Keep an eye out for wilting, leaf drop or leaves turning brown at the edges, and pay especially close attention to any new plants. Adding a good layer of at least 2 inches of mulch will also help shield the soil from the sun and conserve moisture. This will save you precious time watering on hot days!
Keep yourself cool
With UK summers getting hotter, we have to be much more alert to heat stress. Making small changes to the way we work can keep projects on schedule and keep us feeling well. ‘Always stay hydrated, use suncream and wear a hat’, says Craig Deeley, Contracts Manager for Kebur Landscape Division.
‘Gazebos can be really helpful to keep you working in the shade. And as long as you’re not making a lot of noise, you can also start and finish work earlier before it gets too hot’.
Make the shade
Planting trees and building a garden structure like a pergola are simple ways of adding height and interest as well as shade to a garden.
Pergolas are simple to construct and can also help to create the feeling of a separate garden ‘room’. Sun-loving plants like vines or passionflower will love climbing up your structure and give you a cool shady place for you and your shade-loving plants too.