We take running water for granted. Unless there is a hose pipe ban or a burst pipe, it is a resource that we don’t tend to think too much about. However, at peak times more water might have to be taken from our groundwater supplies and we really don’t want that. So, it’s important to save water where we can.
In simple terms, our groundwater supply deep underground is part of the water cycle and when you start depleting one area of it you can affect another. For example, less groundwater means there will be less surface water in our streams and rivers – without this water natural habitats for wildlife and the environment could be affected. So, we all have a part to play in reducing our water consumption and our gardens are a key area that we can do that.
Here are a few ways you can limit your water usage:
- Yes, it’s an obvious tip but getting a water butt and using rain water to fill it is a simple way to collect water. You can also redirect your drain pipes, so any water running off a roof can be collected there too. Then all you need is a watering can to water your plants.
- Timing is everything– watering in the evening is much better as it reduces evaporation, keeping moisture in the soil for longer.
- Try not to over water – if the soil is moist then it doesn’t need watering, so save yourself a job!
- Reuse water – as long as no strong cleaners or bleach have been used, you can reuse your grey water e.g. from your baths and sinks. If you have to run the tap to get your water to heat up then run it into a bowl instead of letting it go down the plug hole and use it on your plants instead.
- Put a mulch down, this can be chippings, shredded tree bark and lawn clippings, after you have watered. The organic matter is really good for retaining water.
- Finally consider picking plants that are drought resistant and therefore don’t require so much watering. The Royal Horticulture Society recommends:
Abelia × grandiflora
Euphorbia characias subsp. wulfenii