How can I save water in my garden?

Sometimes we're lucky enough to get a scorching summer in Sussex. Although it's great to get outside, gardeners can sometimes struggle to keep their plants watered. Here is some advice to help you use water more efficiently in your garden.

Collecting rainwater is a great way to minimise water use in the garden. Attach a water butt to every rainwater downpipe on your house, shed, conservatory, garage or greenhouse. They are relatively inexpensive and slimline models are available for smaller gardens.

You can also use the grey water from your baths and washing up bowls in the garden. It will contain minimal amounts of soap and detergent, and most soils are good at filtering these out but you could help by using eco-friendly detergents. Use the grey water on garden plants and rainwater on edibles.

Most plants don't need as much water as we think. Watering little and often only encourages plants to have shallow root systems close to the surface of the soil. Instead give plants a good soaking every ten days or so. This will force them to delve deep into the soil to find water, making their root systems more drought-resistant. Mulching also helps to keep soils moist.

In the driest parts of your garden, grow plants that are good for wildlife but also thrive in dry conditions: thyme, evening primrose, Californian poppy, lavender and hebes will all do well.

Posted in: Sustainable Gardening on 10 June 2015

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