and survive a hosepipe ban…
Whether or not your water supplier has imposed water restrictions it is always good to conserve water, our most valuable resource.
This leaflet has been produced to help provide you with information on how you can keep your garden and use less water at the same time. Please remember to check with your water authority for up to date information on water restrictions in your area.
WHEN TO WATER
If you are going to water, water early in the morning or, even better last thing at night. You lose a lot less water to evaporation that way and the water gets a chance to really seep into the plants root zone.
If necessary don’t bother watering them, they re-grow! But, raise your mower height and leave the grass as long as possible to help it survive in better condition. Pull out weeds whenever they appear as these will compete for moisture.
These need a lot of water. Sink old plant pots or half plastic pop / milk bottles (you get two when you cut them in half if you leave the lid off the top, and punch holes in the bottom) into the ground between the seedlings when you plant. Then you can just fill the pots / bottle halves with water for it to go straight down to the roots and avoid losing any to evaporation. Remember, you can use a watering can.
The more compost, soil improvers or manure that you dig into your soil, the more water it will retain, and you’ll help improve the quality of your soil every year. Why not investigate making your own compost.
Mulching is very effective at retaining moisture in the soil, and it suppresses weeds too. It can make it difficult to water though, as you have to move it out of the way to get water into the soil (unless you use the flower pot trick above).
Mix some Water Storing Gel into your growing media. The gel will retain excess water releasing it back slowly to the plant roots. This can save up to 90% of the water you would normally use.
Weeds need water too so dig them out! Stop them stealing the water from your plants. Regular hoeing too will keep the ground in better condition to absorb water effectively.
POTS & CONTAINERS
Quite simply the most efficient way to water containers on your patio is using the WaterWise approved Aquapod drip irrigation system and a tap timer to ensure that the water turns on and off punctually, without any waste. They are also exempt from hose pipe restrictions*.
Fit an Aqua Stop connector to the business end of the hose so that the water supply cuts out as soon as a watering device is disconnected. NEVER USE AN OPEN HOSE, as you have no ‘on/off’ control and can waste a lot of water – always fit a multispray gun to the hose ensuring that water only flows when the trigger is held down.
No garden is complete without one. Collect free rain water using water butts – use a diverter kit to divert water from your drainpipe right into your water butt. You can connect several butts together with connection kits, if you have the room. Plants never look as good as when looked after with rainwater, and the water is free. Raise your water butt up, preferably using a purpose made stand, this makes it easy to fill up watering cans or to increase pressure to use low-pressure drip irrigation or soaker hoses.
The best way to avoid traipsing around the garden with dozens of heavy watering cans is to submerge a Water Butt Pump into your stored water supply so that you can distribute it with a hose – just as easily as connecting to the mains supply.
Try using watering cans to water where you can, you get a much better idea of how much water you are using than with a hosepipe. Even better, use a watering can to take the water from a water butt. Why not use more than one watering can, carry two to even up the load when carrying.
DRIP IRRIGATION SYSTEM
You must consider setting up a drip irrigation system which directs water direct to the root. Drip irrigation systems are the most sustainable and efficient form of watering for gardens. They are exempt from hose pipe restrictions* so long as they are used with a timer and pressure regulator both of which are available separately and as part of complete kits.
Used in conjunction with a water timer from your outside tap, or fed directly from your water butt, a soaker hose laid around plants in beds and borders is another efficient way to get water to plant roots.
Where possible, water the base of the plants, NOT the foliage. Some plants like rhubarb are designed to channel water to the roots, but many others will just drip it off the leaves into the spaces between the plants, where it is wasted. Sunlight on wet leaves can cause scorch damage too.
STOP & LET IT SOAK IN
Whether using a watering can or a hose, if the water starts to run off and away from the plants, its time to stop and let it soak in.
CHOOSE DROUGHT RESISTANT PLANTS
Use drought resistant plants – natures answer for less watering. Pick up our leaflet or visit our web-site for a list of such plants.
*always check with your local water authority.