Today marks the start of National Gardening Week, a week of events run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) to promote the many benefits of gardening and outdoor activities. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a gardening novice, or indeed if your outdoor space is the size of a football pitch or simply a window box, gardening is a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors, providing a welcome boost to health and well-being.
When it comes to your garden, saving water is just as important as in the home. The good news is, with a bit of careful planning, it couldn’t be simpler. With Spring finally starting to show signs of staying, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite ways to keep your garden looking blooming lovely all year round – without the need to splash out.
Get your butt out – Installing a water butt in your garden is a brilliant way to save water and money. Did you know, just one water butt holds enough rainwater to fill a watering can 25 times, so when you consider the average roof in the UK collects enough rainwater to fill around 450 water butts a year, it is certainly a cost effective and environmentally friendly way to ensure your plants have enough water all year round. Taking this even further, why not recycle your household’s ‘grey water’ too? Shower, bath and kitchen water can all be reused to keep your plants refreshed, just be mindful not to store it for more than 24 hours as it can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
Choose carefully – Take the time to think about your choice of flowers and plants and consider opting for ones which thrive in drier conditions. Flowers including lavender, marigolds, geraniums and tulips are great choices for a bright and vibrant display without the need to use lots of water. Herbs such as rosemary, sage and thyme also make great additions for any gardener trying to minimise their water use. To plan your own drought resistant garden, whatever your tastes and space, take a look at the RHS website for lots of great ideas.
The time is right – choosing the right time to water your garden can make a big difference to the amount of water you use. Try to water plants in the morning or early evening when it is cooler, to lessen the impact of evaporation. Use a watering can directly on the base of your plants two or three times a week – this is more than enough to keep them in tip top condition. Grouping plants together based on their watering needs is also a great way to ensure you don’t over-water your garden.
Contain yourself – Pots and containers are a great addition to any outdoor space, regardless of size, however unlike garden plants, container gardens generally need to be watered every day, especially during the height of summer. Don’t let this put you off though, there are lots of things you can do to reduce the amount of water you use.
One of the big benefits of having containers is that they can be easily moved, so during hot weather, pick a shadier spot to lessen the impact of evaporation. To reduce your water use further, you could also consider using mulch or a water retaining gel during the potting stage. Using mulch doesn’t have to be contained to your pots – use on your garden plants too and according to Waterwise, this could help reduce evaporation by up to 75%.
At home or in the garden, we have lots of great tips to help you save water and money.