Its hard to believe right now that we are in drought! We have had one of the driest Winter’s on record and until this week, it had been a scorching week! Although the rain is now coming down hard and fast, there is still a hosepipe ban in place, so here are some great tips on how to combat the hosepipe ban and use less water in your garden.
1) Foreign Plants – Try to use native plants in your garden, they have taken thousands of years to develop and thrive in this climate, so they are naturally going to continue to grow efficiently.
2) Say No To Supersize – The bigger the plant, the more water is required. Unless you really need the 20 foot Conifer tree in your back garden? Do some research into big plant varieties, and ensure it is ideal for the purpose you have in mind. Also, try not to overcrowd the beds; a few seasons of growth will populate any spacious areas.
3) Mulch – It helps prevent weeds and absorbs and traps water, retaining moisture in the plant beds. Spreading grass cuttings on flower beds adds nutrients as well as trapping moisture. Rocks or pebbles does just as good a job too.
4) Porous Pathways – Rather than letting the water run into the drains, have a gravel, stone or porous paving that will water the roots of any nearby plants. To combat the inevitable weeds, lay landscaping weed suppressing fabric or even newspaper to prevent the little critters popping up.
5) Thirsty Lawns – The average sized lawn can guzzle up to 757,000 litres of water a year! By keeping your grass longer, approximately 3 inches, will retain moisture in the lawn. Lawns are very resilient to dry weather, they brown very quickly, but as the first sign of rain, they perk up again.
6) Go Zonal – Should you have plants that need a lot of water, put them closest to your house to catch the rain tumbling off your roof. You should then order your plants in the amount of water they need going from thirsty plants near the house, to naturally thriving plants that already survive with the naturally occurring rainfall.
7) Water Morning – In the same way humans need to evacuate fluid in the morning, plants need a flush of water in the morning. No, I’m not saying run straight into the garden, but instead when you are ready, water the plants in the morning as the moisture is absorbed slowly throughout the day. Watering at night promotes the growth of fungus.
8) Dams and Ice – Build a dam around the plants that need extra water. This ring of soil means the water does not run free, instead it absorbs into the soil slowly. Alternatively, to disperse water slowly throughout the day, put ice cubes into a plastic bag. Pierce holes into the bottom of it and place it to the side of the plant, ensuring it is not touching the plant. The ice melts slowly throughout the day giving the plant a constant supply of water.
9) Study the Sun – You don’t have to become an astronomer, but simply understand the areas of your garden that are saturated in sunlight and those that are shaded for the majority of the day. For the areas of your garden that are baked by the sun, plant dry-soil plants. For shady areas, have plants that like a lot of water as they will stay cool and damp.
10) We Like Big Butts – A water butt is a great way of holding onto rainwater and using it to water your garden, especially when a hosepipe ban is in place. Moderate rainfall on a 25 x 40 foot roof can tumble off over 2,000 litres of water an hour.
So, this Summer, try using these tips to keep your garden looking tip-top and save any big water bills or fines! Do you have any tips to combat the hosepipe ban? Send in your hints and tips to [email protected] and we will feature them on the Anglian blog, dedicated to all of your recommendations.