WE’VE been blessed with glorious sunny weather for many weeks now.
But that makes it thirsty work for our plants and lawns so here is the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) and Severn Trent’s water saving advice for gardeners in the hot spell.
Janet Manning, Water Management Scientist at the Royal Horticultural Society, told the paper that nature can cope well with hot weather conditions, so it is important we all don’t waste water unnecessarily on our gardens.
“What people may not realise is that nature is tough, and budding gardeners need to resist the temptation of overdoing it by overwatering the garden, as it’s simply not needed even if we are in the middle of a dry spell,” she said.
“Lawns in particular are surprisingly resilient in hot weather conditions and recover really quickly, and quicker if you raise the mower blades or stop mowing altogether.
“Even if the grass starts to look a bit dry, or yellow, there’s really no need to worry – it’ll bounce back and doesn’t need to be watered every day, so it’s best to leave the sprinklers off.”
Severn Trent says demand for water is really high at the moment as the region basks in sunshine, following record breaking temperatures and little rain.¹
A sprinkler, for example, can use as much as 1,000 litres of drinking water in just one hour – which is more water than a family of four would normally use in a whole day.
“A water butt’s also essential for any garden,” continues Janet. “It simply catches rainwater ready to use in the garden, and now’s the perfect time to clear it out ready for when the rain appears again soon.”
Here are some of Janet’s top tips on keeping gardens healthy, while also being water smart:
• If you can, park on the lawn and wash your car with a bucket and sponge there to make double use of the water, and stick to a watering can instead of a hose;
• Collect water in a bucket from when you first turn the shower on when the water’s too cold, use this to water plants, flowers and hanging baskets;
• It’s better to water plants that are planted in borders at the roots, not the leaves, every so often, rather than watering every day;
• Don’t water plastic grass, there’s no need!; and
• Remember nature’s tough, it can adapt and survive to many conditions including a hot spell.
“We all have a role to play in looking after the environment by saving water but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a healthy, flourishing garden at the same time,” said Janet.
“Just remember that sometimes, when it comes to looking after our gardens, less is more and nature can cope and adapt to all conditions brilliantly.”
• For more expert tips from RHS on how to save water in the garden, check out: rhs.org.uk/science/gardening-in-a-changing-world/water-use-in-gardens/managing-water-in-gardens
You can also find a full list of handy tips is available at www.stwater.co.uk/my-supply/hot-weather-tips and get your water saving devices at www.stwater.co.uk/savewater.