Here are a few top tips to help get you through the heatwave when you can’t use your hose pipe
- Prioritise the areas of the garden that need water – pots, newly planted trees, shrubs and other plants, the veg plot etc. The lawn is definitely at the bottom of the list as it is resilient and will recover.
- Don’t disturb the soil by weeding etc as this will cause more water to be lost
- Water in the morning or evening when its cooler and less will evaporate
- Give the plants a good drink around their roots rather than a light sprinkle of water so that the water flows into the soil and reaches the roots. This way you only have to water a couple of times a week. I give my 4×1.5m vegetable beds as much as three buckets and do this just once a week.
- Mulch, mulch mulch. Mulching is the addition of a layer of material over the surface of the soil which will help to trap moisture and reduce evaporation. A mulch could be a layer of compost, grass clippings, bark, wood chip, straw, wool or even gravel. I like to mulch my pots and vulnerable plants like squash plants with a thick layer of wool / fleece. It doesn’t look great, but it is one of the best ways of trapping in moisture. You could even repurpose old wood clothing, blankets and the felt used as insulation in food boxes.
- Don’t forget the grey water from the house – the water from sinks and baths. Its waste water and better it goes on your beds than down the drain.