Once in a blue moon the UK gets weather so nice we can sit outside and enjoy our gardens, then we get hit with a pointless hosepipe ban which means our gardens go bare and die. We could go all gung-ho and flout the ban but that could land us in serious trouble with a hefty fine so we have no choice but to abide. We are forced to forget a few luxuries such as washing our cars, filling swimming pools or, as the name suggests, using a hosepipe. But leaving your well tended garden to suffer the wrath of a heartless drought seems like a big waste of a lot of time, effort and money.
But what can we do to avoid our garden’s dying in the heat other than go all anti-establishment with our sprinklers? We are still allowed to use water around the house so maybe consider making use of bathwater, washing up and so on, this water is fine to use for your garden and will usually, assuming you bathe, provide you with sufficient water.
In order to transfer the water from a sink to a garden you could either siphon it using your now redundant hosepipe, or to avoid a mouthful of soapy water, you could connect your hose to the external waste water pipe.
The best time to water your plants and lawn is early in the morning or late in the evening as it will reduce water loss, watering in middle of the day will result in evaporation before the water reaches the plant’s roots. If watering your lawn is not a good enough reason to get up early then fill small flower pots with water and insert them in the soil then cover them, this will allow the water to penetrate to the roots before evaporating.
You can avoid wasting water by not watering between plants, this will encourage weeds and they will draw valuable water from the ground so remove them when they appear. Do not cut your lawn as short in order to trap moisture in the morning, it will also reduce evaporation and keep weeds away.
To help small plants and flowers, put them in small pots and place them on trays of water help them through hot days. There are also biodegradable gel crystals available which you could use in your planters which can reduce the frequency of watering you will need to do.