There are loads of very easy tricks that can help cut down on water use in the garden.
Your first priority should be to set up as many water butts as your home can take: every downpipe and shed roof can be helping you to store up rainwater for the dry times.
Water saving is mostly common sense and simple techniques that require just a few adjustments to your thinking. A hosepipe ban may stop you spraying your garden with a hose, but that’s all it does. Here are some practical tips to keep the garden green and beat the ban.
Most vegetables are annuals that start off very small and need to be nurtured through the early months, so vegetable gardening can be water-intensive.
Lawns are vast consumers of water but only if you insist on having the perfect green sward all year round. Take a more laid-back approach to your lawn and it will look after itself.
Established plants should need no watering at all. These are large-rooted plants that will be able to draw on reserves of moisture deep down in the soil.
Conservatories and greenhouses get hot, no rain falls within, and many of the plants in them are in containers. You need to be particularly careful to minimise water use here.
Water will evaporate from the surface of ponds over summer, and they will need topping up.
– For more water-wise gardening tips, see rhs.org.uk
– For water-saving ideas in the home, see environment-agency.co.uk
Grey water recycling kit
Drip irrigation is far more efficient than spraying plants with a hose.
It is very useful for watering greenhouse plants, but can also be used for pots or even new plantings in the ground. A tube carries water around the plants, and above each plant is a small “dripper”. When the tap is on, water gently drips on to the soil.
It seeps in slowly, and very little is lost from the surface. All you need to do is turn on your outside tap for 10-20 minutes in the morning and evening. Even simpler, you can put a timer at the tap end that will allow water through the system for set periods each day.
This is also the best way of keeping your container and greenhouse plants watered when you go on holiday, unless you have very amenable neighbours.
Look out for self-watering planters, which are another good way of beating the ban, in your local garden centre.
Source: The Telegraph(abbreviated) by Lia Leendertz
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