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The Hosepipe Ban: Tips to Help Your Garden
Sunday, 1 Apr 2012 7:05 pm

With effect from the 5th of April 2012 there will be a hosepipe ban throughout the south of the UK to combat drought conditions that have resulted from two very dry winters and to stabilise the water levels in UK reservoirs.

Here are some very simple actions you can take to help your garden during the hosepipe ban:

  • Water your plants either early in the morning or late evening to minimise wastage due to evaporation.
     
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast, if showers are predicted, do not water your garden (unless they fail to materialise).
     
  • Cover your soil with a deep layer of mulch material such as chipped bark to aid moisture retention (and suppress weeds). For more information on water conservation products, consult a member of our garden care team.
     
  • Use a water butt to collect rainwater for use around the garden and distribute with watering cans.
     
  • When watering plants water at the base of the plant so as much water as possible reaches the roots – watering the leaves does little good.
     
  • During early spring there is still a lot of moisture in the soil compared to when we get reach the summer months. Use this and lay any turf or plant anything that you need to, as early as possible.
     
  • Allow your lawn to grow longer and reduce the amount of mowing you usually do, the longer grass grows the greener it will become. Don’t worry if an old established lawn turns brown. This simply means the grass has temporarily stopped growing, most lawns recover completely after some rain.
     
  • Take advantage of water conserving and retaining products like Watergel, self-watering pots and containers and make sure you use a well-drained, moisture retaining compost for potted and container plants.
     
  • Plant drought tolerant plants that have spiky leaves or are soft and fleshy which retain their own water supply, these could include Yucca plants, Ilex (Holly), Rosemary, Eryngium, Lavandula and Festuca (Grass). For more information on drought tolerant plants speak to a member of our plant team.
Some brief advice about caring for vegetables during a water shortage:
  • Potatoes: Water only when the flowers have just opened.
     
  • Onions: Water the ground before planting to get sets off to a good start.
     
  • Cauliflower, cabbage, and calabrese: If the soil is very dry, puddle in to help them get established.
     
  • Tomatos: Regular watering increases yield but compromises flavour.
     
  • Carrots, parsnips, and swede: Never water, it lowers yield and affects the taste. Carrots and parsnips split if watered irregularly.
     
  • Turnips: Flood the bed four weeks before harvest, and replace with drought tolerant kohlrabi.
Please note: Any tips provided above are a general guide; some tips above may be disallowed so please always check with your water provider for confirmation.

For more information (in the Thames Water area) see:

Drought
Trade discount for professional gardners.

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