During a heatwave, it's essential to stay hydrated - and the same goes for your plants.
Soaring temperatures can mean a great tan and more time in the garden for you, but they can spell disaster for plants that aren't properly maintained. It's vital to make sure you're not over or under watering during the summer.
We've summarised some of our top tips to keep your plants hydrated and happy in the heat. These findings are from Which? Gardening magazine's expert research - you can to keep up to date on the best ways to look after your garden.
You may think as long as your plants get water, they should be fine. But subtly changing the way you water can stop unnecessary wastage, improve the ease of watering, and help boost the health of your plant.
Our experts found that watering the base of your plant with a rose-tipped watering can is one of the easiest and best ways to ensure great hydration. Watering closer to the soil maximises the spread of water - we found little difference in soil moisture between the soil closest to the plant and soil up to 10cm away.
You may have seen 'hacks' online encouraging you to water your plants using a bottomless plastic bottle - but our experts found this to be the least effective method, even causing drought-stress and reducing the spread of water throughout the area.
To reduce water lost to evaporation on sunny days, you'll want to water in the morning or evening when it's coolest.
Different vegetables have different watering needs and it makes sense to target your water where it is needed most.
We've grouped common veg into three groups depending on their water needs - those which need watering throughout their growth, those that need watering at key growth stages, and those which are pretty much fine left alone.
These fast and continuously growing vegetables need approximately 20 litres/m² per week in dry spells:
Top tip: Soaking when cauliflower and calabrese heads begin to swell will increase their final size.
Time your watering right to increase your crop yield:
Top tip: Before leaving on holiday, sink pot-grown tomatoes into the ground and soak well to keep them going
These are mainly root vegetables, perennials and over-wintering crops which don't need much attention once established:
Top tip: When planting seeds into dry soil, water the bottom of the seed drill thoroughly and leave to soak in water before sowing - then cover with dry soil
Watering can be a tedious task if you've got a lot of ground to cover (or even if you don't!). One of the best ways to simplify this job is by using a garden irrigation system.
Irrigation systems are handy tools for keeping your plants well-watered regularly, whether you're at home or away on your summer holidays. They consist of a series of hoses and pipes which connect to your water supply, allowing you to water multiple plants at once via a drip system.
You can buy them as a kit, and most come with extra accessories like timers, so you can customise your watering schedule even if you're away.
Water is a valuable and sometimes pricey resource, so it's important to prioritise the plants and areas which need it more and those which don't.
For instance, a browning lawn may ring alarm bells in your head, but grass is hardy and will most likely perk up at the next rainfall, meaning you probably won't need to water it yourself.
When it comes to anything you've planted in the last year, you'll want to focus watering here as these plants will be more vulnerable while they're rooting. For already-established plants, these need far less attention.
Follow our quick and easy tips to make gardening this summer a breeze: