Gardening buff shares cheap trick to keep your garden thriving during upcoming heatwaves - using nappies

A gardening expert has shared his top tips on keeping your garden thriving during the upcoming heatwaves - including one bizarre trick using nappies - and revealed why you should always water your plants at night.

A gardening expert has shared his tips on the best way to keep your hanging baskets moist during the upcoming heatwaves - including by planting nappies in the soil. Shaun Schroeder plants around 140 hanging baskets and fence planters each year.

The 59-year-old warned the heatwaves forecasted throughout June are going to be a challenge, and is already preparing his baskets to withstand the forecasted 27C temperatures. The grandfather-of-nine, from Whitchurch in Bristol, said making sure plants get enough water in hot climes can become a “full-time job” and costly.

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Shaun said his top tip is putting water retention gel in the bottom of the baskets during planting. They can be purchased for just a few pounds in garden centres or online and make a world of difference for plants, he revealed.

But Shaun, a demolition supervisor and a grandfather of nine, added that other gardening pals of his take a more ingenious approach - using unworn nappies. He said: “I think they soak up the water when you first water the basket, then slowly releases it over the day. It’s not something I do myself - but I know a lot of people who swear it works for them.”

Another water-saving technique is to do all your watering at night. Shaun explained watering while the sun is hot will mean more of the water evaporates from the soil before soaking in, so you need to do it more often.

So you should do it last thing at night, when the sun has gone down, so the water has more time to soak into the soil overnight, before the sun comes back up.

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He said: “Most people in the gardening community do it at night. He also said you should utilise your shady spots and plant flowers that prefer not to be in direct sunlight.

This way they won’t need as much watering - and your garden will still be on top form. Shade-loving plants Shaun recommends include impatiens, fuchsias and hostas.

Shaun Schroeder, 59, plants around 140 hanging baskets and fence planters each year. Shaun Schroeder, 59, plants around 140 hanging baskets and fence planters each year.
Shaun Schroeder, 59, plants around 140 hanging baskets and fence planters each year. | Tom Wren SWNS

He also suggested begonias, as they don’t need watering as regularly as some other plants, he said. Shaun’s final tip is to remember to take cuttings of plants so you can propagate them - saving you money on buying them from a nursery.

He said: “Every plant I buy, I know I can do eight cuttings. This year I got 350 new plants from cuttings. Last year, I got 500!”

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He says he grows them over winter in a heated shed, so come spring, he can take new cuttings from those, and then he’ll have a full set of new plants to flower the following summer. The gardening enthusiast, well known across Bristol for his beautiful displays, said: “I love gardening - it’s a great place to de-stress from work.

The grandfather-of-nine, from Whitchurch, Bristol, said making sure plants get enough water in hot climes can become a “full-time job” and costly.The grandfather-of-nine, from Whitchurch, Bristol, said making sure plants get enough water in hot climes can become a “full-time job” and costly.
The grandfather-of-nine, from Whitchurch, Bristol, said making sure plants get enough water in hot climes can become a “full-time job” and costly. | Tom Wren SWNS

“I just love it. My wife doesn’t see me much in summer - I’m out in the garden ‘til 9pm.

“Last year with the hot temperatures, it was hard - I was constantly watering. This year I’m definitely more cautious because of the water costs going up.

“Looking at the weather the past couple of weeks, I’m expecting the same sort of conditions again this year.”

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