Our top tips for helping you to be water wise this summer
Whilst we have enjoyed some rainfall recently, here in Yorkshire our gardens are still recovering from the driest May on record and the fifth driest spring since records began.
There are lots of great ways to help your garden thrive whilst also using water wisely. Our plant team share some of their top tips for conserving water.
Plants that need less watering are often those that grow well in hot countries and so have evolved to grow well with limited water.
Succulents are firm favourites conserving water in their fleshy leaves and stems and so need less watering, even in the hottest summers. We love sedums, echevaria and sempervivums.
We really love Mediterranean plants and herbs such as lavender, thyme and rosemary that smell amazing as well as being drought tolerant.
Grasses are a great addition to your garden; not only do they add structure and form but they often need less watering to thrive. The choice is extensive and our team love the many striking varieties of phormium and carex.
Did you know that the silver foliage on plants such as Perovskia, Santolina and Convulvulus reflects light and so they converse water.
In summertime, choosing bedding geraniums will give you both water efficiency and that immediate pop of colour in the garden.
With the rise in popularity of houseplants, there’s also an increasing range of indoor plants that require little water. Many of these are classed as succulents such as crassula, echeveria and aloe vera as well as the classic cacti.
If you haven’t already heard about air plants or Tillandsias, then you’ll be amazed by these incredible plants that don’t require soil to grow. Instead they attach their short thin roots to bark or rocks. They thrive in a humid environment such as a bathroom. Find out more about these intriguing plants in store.
TONG’S TOP TIPS FOR WATER-WISE GARDENERS
There are lots of simple ways to save water in your garden so our team have shared 8 top tips here with you:
Adding organic matter to your garden will really help with water conservation. Organic matter such as compost or farmyard manure improves the structure of your soil and retains many times its own weight in water thus reducing the frequency of watering.
Add mulch or bark to your borders to prevent water loss through evaporation. This works well in large borders and beds and will also help prevent weeds and keep slugs and snails at bay.
Hand pull weeds as opposed to hoeing or digging as when you hoe or dig, it disturbs the soil structure and the result is it will need more water.
Collect rainwater in a water butt using a simple system that siphons rainwater from your drainpipes. You can then reuse the water for your garden.
Choosing the right time to water makes a difference. Either early in the morning, or late at night, when it’s cooler, is the best time. Also look for signs that your plants need water as opposed to just frequently watering.
Try to resist watering your lawn. The grass may brown a little during prolonged spells of hot weather but it always recovers really quickly.
It may sound obvious, but check the weather forecast before watering as it may save you a job and naturally conserves water.
Fiona loves to accessorise her outdoor living space with plants in containers and recommends these water conserving planters that all have a clever built-in saucer to capture water after watering or rainfall. This reservoir allsows the plant’s roots to take up water from this supply as required..
- The Elho range of beautiful containers in on trend colours and designs include a clever water reservoir inside the base of the pot, as well as being made from at least 80% recycled plastic
- Tierra Verde eco-friendly planters that are made from recycled tyres and have a self-watering base
- Kelkay’s Vale planter may look like a pottery planter but it’s made from lightweight plastic with a sophisticated high gloss finish and integrates a saucer to conserve water and protect roots from waterlogging
Michael leads a busy life and is a fan of products that can help him to save both time and water, like:
- Hozelock’s range of automatic watering devices with a drip watering system that releases water slowly and delivers it directly to the root, thus saving water
- Aquasave watering cones that simply screw on to a plastic bottle – a great way to conserve water and reuse plastic at the same time
- Elho’s Aqua Care watering system is a clever hack that uses a glove-shaped dripper to slowly release water in to your pots and their attractive design makes them ideal for indoor use.
Our Joe, well-known for creating your stunning pots and baskets, recommends the following water conserving products when creating stunning containers
- Adding water retaining crystals or gel to compost is a fantastic little hack! Simply mix the granules into the compost or soil when you plant up and they’ll swell to store water and then slowly release the water over time.
- To prevent evaporation, add a layer of decorative stones, pebble or slate on top of the soil in your containers and plant pots. The choice of decorative toppers is extensive and they do a brilliant job as well as finishing off your points in a stylist way.
- Try a moisture meter! By measuring the moisture content at the plant’s roots, it prevents over and underwatering and this works really well for plants in containers, avoiding unnecessary watering. We love the precision Digital Moisture Meter that comes with a detailed water guide for over 150 plants.