Water droplets on leaves

How To Save Water In The Garden; 10 Top Tips

Help the environment and reduce your work by saving water in the garden

  1. Save rainwater. Install as many water butts as possible.
  2. Use a seep hose. Placing the hose just under the soil ensures that the water reaches the plant roots directly, with no evaporation. A lot of water is wasted by spraying; by evaporation and being re-directed by foliage and not reaching the roots.
  3. Plant drought tolerant species.
  4. Incorporate organic matter. If gardening on free draining soils dig in organic matter, such as; leaf mould, compost or well-rotted farmyard manure. This will hold onto the moisture and improve soil structure.
  5. Plant ground-cover plants. Covering the soil in vegetation will reduce evaporation. For example, in the vegetable garden inter-plant taller crops with a salad crop.
  6. Mulch. Give the ground a good soak then put down a mulch of chipped bark, straw or leaf mould. This not only reduces evaporation but also cuts down on the weeds which will compete for moisture and nutrients.
  7. Re-cycle water. Water tough plants, such as shrubs, with re-cycled washing-up or bath water.
  8. Soak plants. Give plants a good soak as this encourages the roots to go deeper. Watering a little and often encourages a shallow root system, which will not withstand a dry spell as well as the plants which have rooted down into deeper, damper soil.
  9. Use water retaining crystals. Incorporate water retaining gel crystals into the compost when planting up tubs and hanging baskets.
  10. Line containers with plastic. Place a plastic lining around the inside of containers; remember not to cover the drainage holes. This reduces evaporation, especially with clay pots.
Angela Slater
Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas