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Great Gardening Around Great British Weather

The UK is notorious for its inclement weather, in particular rainfall which the Met Office recorded was 1,106.8 mm on average across the country in 2017.  Planning garden work, particularly larger projects, can prove troublesome especially as many tasks cannot be carried out in adverse conditions.  For example, most new landscaping projects would not be possible in wet conditions as when planting new plants lighter, aerated soil is better for the young, fragile roots rather than heavily saturated, compacted soil.  Always try to plan your projects following the latest weather reports from the Met Office.  You can then select your new hedge plants confidently and plant in the most favourable conditions.  In no time you will be enjoying your healthy, colourful, new hedge.

Machinery and rainy conditions

Electrically driven machinery (e.g. hedge cutters, grass trimmers, lawn mowers) cannot be used in the rain.  Others that operate on fuel can be used in wet conditions but it may be considered unsafe to do so.  Tree surgery carries much greater risks in stormy weather such as potential damage to property and people if nearby.  The possibility of the tree surgeon slipping is vastly increased in inclement weather and these tasks must usually be cancelled if necessary but planned, in the first instance, to avoid stormy weather.

Being kept up to date regarding extreme weather is paramount so that you can plan and make decisions with regard to postponing or completing a job.  As mobile phone signals can be unreliable during bad weather and general emergencies, it is better to use a weather or emergency radio which can keep you informed, even if you are without power or signal.  This can be especially beneficial if you are working outdoors in a remote location, but also helpful in an emergency when the usual technology channels are not working.

Dry trims better for hedges

Whilst you can trim your hedge with a fuel powered, non electrical, hedge cutter in wet conditions, it may not be considered sensible to do so.  The main safety issue is of the user slipping so correct, non-slip footwear is a must.  The cutting blades for trimmers will need to be sharpened or new to cut through wet hedges as there will be less traction.  Always ensure your machinery is lubricated to avoid water damage especially to the power head and engine area.  Please remember it is unsafe to use an electric trimmer or cutter in wet conditions, so never attempt this.

Whatever the weather, choose your task

Often it is better to switch gardening tasks when faced with rain, this way your work can always be advantaged with the best weather conditions for that particular task.  For example, rather than trying to cut hedges or grass in rainy weather, instead try weeding.  You will find the weeds, roots and all, are pulled out with ease and speed.  Whereas weeding in dry weather can be hard work.  Similarly any pulling up or digging out of plants is much easier in wet conditions.  Whatever tasks await in your garden, with a little planning and flexibility you can make progress whatever the Great British weather brings.

Written by Jackie Edwards who is a researcher, editor and writer. Jackie began her career in horticulture and landscape gardening and spent many years helping couples and families achieve their plans to create gardens they could live and work with.

Thank you Jackie for another amazing and informative piece!

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Posted in Seasonal Gardening

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