The drought that we are currently experiencing means that it is more important than ever to garden sustainably and reduce our reliance on tap water to keep our gardens looking good. Now with a hosepipe ban on the way it is a good time to thing about how you can take steps to reduce your reliance on the hosepipe for the garden.
Here are 5 things you can do to help:
- Save Rainwater
Storing rainwater is an obvious way to minimise the use of tap water in a garden. Water butts can be connected toyour house, shed, greenhouse or garage. With clever fittings you can easily connect them together for extra storage or include a diverter which only takes water from the when there is space in the water butt. They come in a wide variety of sizes and styles including slimline for smaller gardens.
Mulching is applying a loose material onto the surface of the soil, typically compost or bark. This reduces the need to water by preventing moisture evaporation from the soil. It has the added bonuses of reducing weeds and releases nutrients into the soil as well as warding off slugs and making it all look neat and tidy.
- Don’t use sprinklers
Sprinklers apply water all over the surface of the soil and plants where much of the water evaporates before it has a chance to soak in. It is far better to use seep hoses (unless banned) placed under the mulch instead directing the water to the plant’s roots. Alternatively, a good old-fashioned watering can where you can direct the water flow to where it is needed.
- Water less frequently
Whilst it is necessary to water when plants regularly are new and establishing their roots it is best to reduce the frequency over time. This encourages the plants to develop a strong root system. For plants in the ground a good soak every 10 days should be sufficient for most plants and only when there has been no rain.
- Choose plants which can cope
Plants which are suited to the conditions they are in whether sun or shade, moist soil or dry, will be stronger and healthier and better able to withstand stress. Pots and containers quickly dry out so use species which can cope with drier conditions. Carefully look at the plant labels to work out whether a plant is suitable for the position you have.
For advice on planting schemes or irrigation contact Victoria Legge garden Design on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07795472111