The speedy guide to…saving water
We might wonder why it’s worth saving water, especially with all the rain we’ve had recently! However, with the average person using 150 litres a day, rising by 1% since 1930, our current usage is not sustainable. Take action to reduce your use in the garden…
1. Nothing butt good
Fix water butts to down pipes on sheds and greenhouses and collect as much rainwater as you can. You could even save washing-up water on really dry days as long as it’s not full of harsh detergents.
2. Youngest first
Only water plants that really need it – those recently planted, or those in containers.
3. Prepare ahead
Before planting, dig in lots of bulky compost as this will really help reduce the amount of watering you have to do
4. Ready, aim, water
Aim your can at the roots rather than the leaves to quench where it’s most needed (wet leaves can scorch in hot sun too), or improve your aim even further by inserting plastic bottles or 2-3litre flowerpots into the soil near thirsty plants, such as tomatoes, and watering into these.
5. Better late than never
Water early in the morning, or late in the evening, so you don’t lose too much water through evaporation.
6. Good drench
Watering little and often means water barely penetrates the soil and it encourages plant roots to grow near the surface, leaving them vulnerable. Instead, try a really good soak once a week (your plants, not you!) and only if the soil feels dry underneath the top two inches.
7. Mulch magic
A thick layer of bark chippings, grass, gravel or compost placed at the base of moisture loving plants will keep the ground wetter for longer after you’ve watered.
8. Scrub a dub dub
Don’t let valuable bathwater drain down the pipes. As long as it doesn’t contain masses of bubble bath or detergents, it can be used to water your plants. Simply dredge with a bucket, suction through a pipe down to the ground, or put a rainwater collector and water butt onto the wastepipe from the bathroom.