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Looking after the source of life

It’s so easy to waste water which is not only bad in terms of squandering a valuable resource, but if you’re on a water meter, bad for your pocket, too!

Saving water can also save you money if you collect rain water from down pipes and use a mulch of bark or stone chippings to reduce evaporation during hot spells.

Thinking carefully about drought-tolerant plants will also cut down on the water bill, but if you really have to water the garden, what’s the best way?

A really good soak from time to time is better than little and often. A good drench will encourage roots to go further down into the soil where it’s cooler. Avoid watering during the day unless the plant is really suffering as midday heat can evaporate water before plants have a chance to soak it up and try not to splash foliage as this evaporates quickly and small water droplets can act like magnifying glasses in bright sunlight and even scorch leaves

If plants are in pots, get the hose right down at the base of the plant, this will get the water to where its needed most. Adding a little fertiliser to the water will replenish nutrients which get used up or are carried away as the pots drain.

How much water a plant needs will depend on how and where it’s growing. Plants in pots generally need watering more often as the amount of available water is less and especially so with hanging baskets.

So, is growing everything in the ground the answer? Not always, if you have bigger plants nearby which will have a greater demand for water than smaller plants and compete with them! The strong effects of wind and sun will also dry out foliage quicker when they’re combined.

Water is something we all need, so be water wise and use it carefully this summer. Your garden and your pocket will be all the better for it.