There has been talk of droughts, even before Christmas, so unless we have a wet Summer there may be a water shortage this year.
So how do us gardeners cope. Really it is down to working with nature. New plantings should not be left until the Summer. A garden shrub or tree planted in the Autumn or Spring will have time to send some roots down deep into the earth before the Summer. If we get a long dry spell and the water table sinks the plant can send its roots down following the ground water.
But if we plant in the Summer and there is little rain, the plant will need to rely on being watered by us. If you are watering you have to put plenty on, not just wet the surface. Just wetting the surface encourages the plant to make roots on the surface, not send them deep into the ground.
If you look around you will see many trees over a hundred years old, I don’t imagine anyone ever watered them, so Mother Nature can do it all by herself all we have to do is work with her.
If you have no option but planting in the Summer there are a few tricks that you can use. Such as adding compost to the soil and mulching around the plant to retain moisture. For a hedge you can buy a leaky pipe and run it along the ground to keep it moist all the time (an old hosepipe is just as good if you make holes all along it). This can be connected to a water butt or the tap.
My pet hate is watering lawns to keep them green, they always come back even if they have gone brown. The more you water (and feed) them the more you have to cut them.
Having said all this I was just looking at the Environment Agency on line and we are in the ‘normal risk’ of drought zone. But nevertheless working with nature always works out best, and they might change their mind, the weather forecasters do occasionally.