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Water Wisely

Some people are just water aware, others are constantly under the threat of a hosepipe ban and increasingly people’s water supply is metered, or maybe you’re just short of time. Whatever your reason, it’s a good idea to be wise with water and how you use it in the garden.

In theory, plants should get all the water they need from rainfall between October and April. That said, the weather’s so unpredicable, it’s important to watch carefully for unseasonal dry spells, particularly if you’re growing fruit and veg.

Blakesley Hall Gardens - wheelbarrow and hose

Here are three ways you can save loads of water and watering time, and still have a lovely luscious, green garden or plot.

1) Try to avoid watering at all

  • Mulch heavily as this will prevent moisture evaporating from the surface of the soil.  – use gravel, bark, shells recycled glass or pine cones.
  • Apply the mulch when the ground is at its wettest, usually in early spring.
  • Line terracotta pots and boxes with plastic, but don’t forget to pierce it so that the compost is free draining
  • Add a moisture retaining gel to the compost. Swell Gel by Phostrogen is pretty good stuff

    Pine cones

    Pine Cones make a pretty and effective mulch

2)  Water Wisely

  • Check the forecast. If it’s going to rain, then wait until it clears-up to, see if to how much you need to water at all.
  • Try to water plants in the late afternoon or early evening, so they have a chance to have a good drink beofre sunrise.
  • If you can, put pots under hanging baskets, to benefit from the overflow.
  • Whatever you do, don’t water a plant in full sun. Either move it to the shade, or wait until the shade moves to it.
  • Give everything a good water less often, e.g. once a week, rather than just a little every day. This is because the water needs to soak down to the roots of the plant.
  • Use a hose with a trigger spray, and water below the foliage line.
  • For really thirsty plants, crops like tomato, cucumber and melon for example, take an empty 2 litre bottle with no lid, cut the bottom off, then invert it with the top end pointing toward the roots. Water into the chopped off end, to direct the water straight to the roots.

    ***

    This isn’t a great watering technique!

3) Recycle

  • Collect water in a water butt or barrel.
  • Use water from baths, showers and washing up, you can either syphon it or use a small electric pump.
  • Don’t use water from dishwashers or washing machines though, the water softening chemicals and detergents may harm your plants.

Photo credits:

Pine Cones 24oranges.nl

Bikini gagilas

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