Watering your garden during the hose pipe ban

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Starting on the 5th April 2012 a hose pipe ban comes into effect affecting seven water companies – Southern Water, South East Water, Thames Water, Anglian Water, Sutton and East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East.

If you’re a keen gardener this comes at just the wrong time of year, but all is not lost. Tamebay have come up with some water saving tips for your garden to ensure your veggies flourish and your flowers bloom over the coming months.

1. Your lawn

Don’t worry about your lawn turning brown. All this means is that your lawn has stopped growing and as soon as the rains return it’ll spring back to life. However to give it a helping hand don’t cut your grass as short as normal – Long grass sends down deeper roots and provides more shade and your lawn will come through the dry weather in better shape than a shorter cut.

2. Water butts

Get yourself a water butt (or even better several connected together) and make the most of the water running off your house roof, shed and greenhouse. A typical water butt can collect as much as 85,000 litres of rain water in an average year – Of course it doesn’t collect anything until it rains but when it does you could easily collect a couple of hundred litres of water in just a couple of hours.

Check with your local council as they sometimes have offers on but otherwise you’ll find everything related that you need on eBay.

3. Drip or trickle irrigation watering systems

Check the hose pipe ban notice on your water supplier’s website. Most have an exception for drip or trickle irrigation watering systems. The terms are generally that they must be fitted with a pressure reducing valve and a timer, that are not handheld, that place water drip by drip directly onto the soil surface or beneath the soil surface, without any surface run off or dispersion of water through the air using a jet or mist. Again you can source some great on eBay and this is the one sure fire way to ensure that your plants survive the hot weather with the added bonus that it requires no effort once installed. If you’re in the gardening mood over the Easter break this is one job that should be top of your to do list.

4. Landscaping

If you’re thinking of doing something a bit more back breaking than installing an irrigation system then design your garden to save water. Make sure that any driveways or paving that you lay slopes towards planted areas so that surface water runs to where it’s needed most every time that it does rain.

5. Pots and hanging baskets

If you’re about to plant out your patio pots and hanging baskets make sure you mix into the compost and line your baskets with plastic to help retain water.

6. Submersible water pump

Normally when you water the garden with a hose pipe the mains water pressure ensures a good spray. You won’t get this from your water butt and even less so if you want to save your bath water and use it for your garden. Invest in a and where ever you find water you’ll be set to use your hose (Generally you’re allowed to use a hose so long as it’s not connected to the water main – your water butt or horse trough is fine to pump water from).

7. Mulch

Wood chippings, gravel or organic compost around the base of plants not only help to prevent water evaporation but have the added benefit of reducing weed growth as well.

8. Watering cans

If all else fails during the hose pipe ban you can always fall back on buckets and . Whilst you can’t have the ease of using your hose to water the garden there’s nothing stopping you from filling a watering can from the tap or even better pay your neighbours kids to do it for you!

Keeping your plants and vegetables watered doesn’t have to be back breaking work though. A small investment and a couple of hours over the Easter break to get set for a long dry summer and watering your garden could be easy. I’m in favour of the laziest options so I’ll be busy installing a drip irrigation system this coming weekend along with the back up of an existing water butt and submersible pump.

Finally check your water company and local council’s websites. They often have special offers for water saving devices for use in the home and water butts for the garden. If you’re in the Thames Water area they currently have a whole load of household water saving devices on offer for free.

5 Responses

  1. And don’t forget that a call of nature can be natural too. A tinkle in the garden fixes nitrogen and saves on flush water too. Compost heap and flower beds are best.

    Piss pots can be bought on eBay for pence so even the shy can make a contribution.

    Singing: *she sits among the cabbages and peas*

  2. Just out of interest is it ok to attach a hose to a Water butt with or without a pump

  3. There is another very important policy. That is to plant plants that in themselves require less water. Because we are located in the temperate region we expect a reasonable rainfall and so do our plants. However there are many plants that originate in Tropical and dry areas that can survive on much less rainfall. If you go to your local Garden Centre I am certain that they will be able to help with plants that require less water.

    Going back to using Bath Water I have heard of people who have fitted up the bottom of the drain from the Bath with a tap so you can affix a hozepipe to the drain so you can divert the Bath Water straight onto the garden.

  4. easy answer move to scotland the stuff even falls from the sky here



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