Watering and saving water

It may seem slightly ironic to be discussing saving water as we experience floods and extreme unseasonal rain across the country. However, in the long term, water conservation remains a hot topic on the national agenda. Plants, like most living things, need water, energy (usually from the sun), and nutrition (usually from the soil). When one of these needs is left unsatisfied, the living thing will suffer; especially younger specimens. We would not think twice about advising our children to drink some water to cool down, but when it comes to the country’s plant life, the hosepipe ban makes this difficult.

Hosepipe bans mean that gardens in private houses have to suffer in the dry, warmth of the Summer months.

Did you know that landscape firms have an exemption for the hosepipe ban, allowing them to protect newly planted shrubs, trees and newly lain turf with water sprinklers? Have you considered using a landscaping firm to keep your garden hydrated when the warm weather returns?

Here are our top tips for overcoming a hosepipe ban:

  1. Using “Grey” water from baths or washing up can be an effective way of mitigating a hosepipe ban. But be careful what chemicals (soaps or bleaches) may be in the water!
  1. Water butts are an effective way of harvesting rainwater but be aware that the water can stagnate after a period of long term storage in a dark barrel and may need chemical help to remain healthy water.
  1. Water retaining granules incorporated in the soil can be used to reduce the amount of watering.
  1. Top dress your plants in the winter time with a good mulch, which will absorb moisture and release it gradually over time.
  1. Use a “Weepy hose”, a porous hose which irrigates areas by capillary action. This is very effective at maintaining moisture levels and, at time of writing, can be used within the confines of a hosepipe ban.
  1. Irrigation systems can be useful and if they use harvested rainwater, or a timed and pressure controlled hose, can also benefit the environment.