If this weather continues, it wouldn’t surprise me if councils start turning their thoughts to a hosepipe ban.
Saving rainwater is the best way to cut down on the use of water in your garden. You can fix a water butt to every rainwater downpipe on your house, shed, greenhouse, conservatory or garage and for the smaller garden, slimline models are available. With the recent storms there should be many a water butt filled up by now!
Water-retaining crystals or gel in your plant containers means you won’t have to water them so often. Lining terracotta pots with polythene will reduce evaporation from the sides of the pot.
Mulching soil around plants with straw or bark prevents evaporation of water from the surface. This will also help to prevent slugs and stop weeds from growing, which compete with your plants for water and nutrients.
Don’t use sprinklers in the garden. They are not efficient and can use up to 1000 litres of water an hour. Seep hoses are better as they can be hidden beneath the soil and deliver water directly to plants’ roots.
Use water from your baths, showers and washing up bowls rather than fresh water from the tap. It contains minimal amounts of soap and detergent, though an eco-friendly washing detergent should be used if you have frogs or other pondlife.
You can even save the water from your shower while you are waiting for the flow to heat up.
Plants watered regularly will have shallow roots, because they do not need to delve deep into the soil in search for water, so encourage them to develop deep root systems by watering them less frequently.. A good soak once every 10 days should be enough for most plants.