Scorchio shocker or torrential downpour, there are sensible ways to keep your plot protected and thriving. We ask Lucy Chamberlain for her top tips on growing fruit and veg whatever the weather…
Weatherproof Your Plot
In times of a changing climate, we’re not sure whether summer will bring us deluge or dearth. But come rain or shine, we can take action to ‘weatherproof’ our fruit and veg via careful soil management, says Lucy.
Protect From The Wet
So you want to weatherproof your plot. Great! First of all, add bulky organic matter (such as composted bark or well-rotted farmyard manure) to your plot – it makes light soils more moisture-retentive and heavy plots less claggy.
Dig gullies alongside your crops, plugging them up to catch your irrigation water in a drought or opening them up in times of heavy rain.
Grow a little bit of everything –for instance, try drought-tolerant asparagus and globe artichokes alongside moisture-loving rhubarb and Oriental leaves.
Choose raised beds on low-lying areas, but grow on the flat if your plot is on the upper slopes.
And add plenty of water butts to capture rainfall.This way, Mother Nature can throw her worst at you, and your crops will survive!
If It Gets Too Hot
As the weather heats up, so does a glasshouse – and anything above 30°C/86°F can be harmful to plants. Here are three ways to protect and shade your greenhouse…
• Shade paint:
Applying this milky liquid to a glasshouse exterior is quick and it makes a difference if you need to grow under glass on a budget, although it will not always reduce temperatures a great deal.
• Interior shade netting or fleece:
Fix this intoplace using clips. It’s simple to erect and take down but, again, check in with your crops regularly as it is not always the constantly efficient at cooling.
• Exterior blinds:
This is the most costly method, but it is absolutely the most effective at cooling. Because the blinds are external, the sun cannot hit the glass. It’s practical and easily adjustable.
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