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Save water in your garden

Posted Jun 01 2010 12:14am

Water conservation is a major activity for gardeners. Every plant needs water to survive. It is a vital source for growth and without it we would not be able to enjoy beautiful gardens.

Climate change and changing rainfall patterns affect the water supply we have come to rely on. There is no longer a guarantee that rain will fall exactly when we need it and the amount of rain that we receive is often now concentrated into a far shorter period.

In the past watering your garden was one of life’s pleasures, but climate change is changing this . Gardeners have to adapt to long periods of drought often followed by short periods of heavy downpours.Here are some ways to use water more wisely in your garden:

Why not have a water meter installed to ensure that you use water wisely in the garden - this might also save you money. Most households in the UK are entitled to a free water meter from their water company on request. This will help you to think about how and when you use mains water.

Think seriously about how you might harvest and re-cycle your water supplies?

Harvested rainwater can produce healthier plants as well as saving our precious supplies .

In fact, most plants prefer rain water to tap water. It contains more pH and is free of chemicals such as chlorine.

Before you buy ANY plant from ANY nursery, it is always a good idea to check how much water it will need to establish itself and to grow in summer drought conditions. It is obviously better not to buy plants that will require lots of water unless you are prepared to harvest or re-cycle your water on a regular basis.

Hanging baskets for example require daily watering and during dry periods will dry out very quickly. You may loose the plants in your display if you do not think about how you will keep them moist before you buy.

Save water by having a water metre installed

Autumn planting is better than summer as plants require less water to establish themselves

Very good organic manure mulched in late winter will help retain soil moisture in summer

Experiment with drought tolerant plants

Weeds use water so remove them

Avoid watering lawns - see lawn pages for further advice

Tap into using water butts to collect rainwater

Ensure that pots and containers have trays to ensure rain water is not wasted.

Recycle kitchen and bath water without detergents if you can.

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