‘In danger of snapping stems’: Alan Titchmarsh shares correct method for watering garden

Alan Titchmarsh shows off flower garden

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In an episode of The Gardeners’ Year, Alan shared his tips on watering plants using a hosepipe. The show, which first aired in 2007 on the BBC, saw the gardening expert share how to keep a garden in good shape during every season. In the “summer” episode of the programme, Alan shared his tips on watering, pruning and deadheading.

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He said: “We couldn’t get to the end of July without mentioning watering.

“Does this method look familiar? So, this is what you do, isn’t it?

“You get out with your hose and your sprinkler head, of an evening when it’s nice and cool and you spray your plants.”

The water was spraying all over the plants’ foliage and flowers.

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Alan explained that this isn’t the right technique as this can damage the plants.

He continued: “Look at these heleniums all bowed down with the weight of the water.

“You’re in danger of snapping the stems off, and more importantly not getting the water to where it’s needed which is at the roots not on the foliage.

“I’ve sunk a little jam jar in here [into the soil] just to show how much water is reaching the soil.

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“You’ll be surprised, it’s very, very little.”

Instead, gardeners should remove the sprinkler head from the hose and put the hosepipe right down by the plants’ roots.

This is where the water can “do some good”, according to Alan.

Using the correct technique will take longer but the water will “penetrate deep into the soil”.

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Alan added: “If you only water the top inch or so, you’ll encourage surface rooting and in the next drought they’ll be left high and dry.

“But water deeply and the roots will follow.”

Alan dug down into the top four inches of his own soil.

Despite it being sunny, the compost was completely moist.

He said if the soil is wet four inches down, then gardeners will be “absolutely fine”.

Alan said: “You really only need to worry about watering plants that have just gone in.

“This year, if they’re long established, they can look for it.”

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