Ban-Beating Watering Solutions - April 2012
BAN-BEATING WATERING SOLUTIONS
It’s certainly no secret that stored water levels across the UK are at their lowest for decades and a domestic ban on using hosepipes has recently been implemented - but what is less clear cut is what the beleaguered gardener can do about it!
And there’s no denying that the hosepipe in particular is a greedy garden serpent – this coiled water guzzler is capable of shifting 1000 litres an hour – but with some careful consideration and a few good water wise ideas from Harrod Horticultural, hanging up the hosepipe doesn’t have to result in a parched, desert-like garden.
Anglian Water spokesperson Antony Innes says: "Our region has had the driest 18 months for over 100 years, which is why a hosepipe ban was introduced for domestic customers recently.”
"Despite this ban, customers can still have a well-stocked and healthy-looking garden without having to rely on a hosepipe. By following some simple tips and loving every precious drop of the water we do have our gardens needn’t suffer this spring and summer."
So let’s start our watering odyssey with a few H20 saving ideas for thirsty grow bags and containers. Efficient watering can save litres and that’s certainly an accurate description for grow bag stalwarts the Growtube, Speed Feed and Big Drippa, all of which deliver water exactly where it’s required and stamp out wasteful spillages. Potted patio plants get a look in too with the Iriso Water Spikes and space age Idris Watering Device and if you’ve not tried self-watering systems like the Quadgrow (complete with Holiday Watering Kit) and Chilligrow before, then this summer could be the time to start.
Moving onto raised beds and the capillary matting legs (there’s 12) of the arachnid-like Aqua-Spyder creep over the soil surface delivering essential supplies of water to plants. Micro and drip irrigation kits loop across the bed dripping directly onto the soil and big brother version, the erstwhile low pressure Soaker Hose is ideal for economically watering larger open beds, borders and hedges.
Responsible gardeners will welcome the availability of water timers – set these simple devices to water in the early morning/late evening to avoid evaporation in the heat of the day – and win/win pressure reducers, designed to reduce water usage and cut bills.
Watering cans are in line for a comeback too and if carrying that precious liquid cargo by hand seems too much effort, think again! The stylish and perfectly balanced Haws watering cans are just the job and will make you feel like you’re ‘floating’ along, not transporting up to 8.8 litres of water!
And we can’t ignore arguably the ideal replacement for that hosepipe and garden tap combination, the water butt. Team up the range of butts supplied by Harrod Horticultural with the feisty water butt pump and you won’t miss the hosepipe at all; low pressure systems like the Soaker Hose will happily run off a butt supply and rain traps, linking kits and spare taps mean that you need never miss or waste a raindrop.
Lawns pose a trickier problem but implementing a spring care programme of scarifying, aerating and feeding will set the grass up for a summer battle with the sun - and you can find plenty more cultural tips on beating the ban on the water companies’ websites.
But before you start writing out your hosepipe ban-friendly shopping list, a word of caution - it’s important to state that you should check with your local water provider exactly what garden watering products they consider suitable for use during the ban.