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watering your garden in a drought
Dry ground in a drought can lead to wilting plants

Watering your garden in a drought might be something we have to think about more often now and in the coming years. As we approach the very likely possibility of more widespread hosepipe bans over the next few weeks, this may leave a lot of wondering how we’re going to keep our gardens healthy. Especially for the green-fingered folks who take a lot of pride in the hard work they have put into their outdoor spaces.

Helping our gardens survive

In a period of drought, it’s even more important to those avid gardeners amongst us, to ensure our treasured gardens survive the heat! Without natural rainfall, it can be a difficult question, but a necessary one.

And yet with water shortages prevalent, how can we both stick to the rules and make sure our gardens survive with no rainfall?

drought-friendly flowers
Ceanothus is a good choice of drought-tolerant plant

Drought-resistant plants

If you haven’t already, it might be worth investing in drought-resistant plants when you’re planning your garden for next year. The Royal Horticultural Society has a list of these you can use when designing your next summer season. This will help immensely when watering your garden in a drought. Tougher, less water-needy plants will remove a little of the headache when there is a water shortage.

Sedum spectabile is a good drought-tolerant plant to consider
Sedum Spectabile is another drought-friendly plant to consider

Water your Garden in a Drought: early and late

When watering your garden in a drought it can seem counterintuitive not to water the plants during the hotter parts of the day. When they are wilting, it can be tempting to try and revive them immediately. However, for your sake, and the plants, try to water early and late each day. This will help plants stay hydrated through the main heat of the day. In extreme heat, watering plants when it is hot can lead to the roots “boiling” and hurting the plant.  If the day is a little less hot you may get away with giving them a little water until you are able to give them a good dose of hydration in the evening.

watering your garden in a drought with a water butt
Water butts can be very handy in a drought

Invest in a rain butt

This is something to think about for forthcoming warm summers. If you invest in a rain butt that collects water during the wetter season, then you’re all prepared for that water shortage and hosepipe ban. Plus it’s better for the environment in general and of course, your pocket if you’re on a water meter. You can get water butts in any good home improvement store.

hosepipe ban UK
Several counties in the UK are currently experiencing hosepipe bans

Watering your Garden in a Drought: Hosepipe ban

It might be quicker to use a hosepipe or sprinkler to water your garden in a drought but if a hosepipe ban comes in your area, you will need to rethink. In these circumstances, hosepipes are usually only permitted for commercial use.  However, there are a few exceptions like keeping fish ponds topped up. So give the hosepipe a break and water frugally with a traditional watering can or even just a bottle with holes cut out.

ground covering to prevent water loss when watering your garden in a drought
brown, wood, chip, mulch, to prevent water loss

Add a Protective Layer to stop Water from Evaporating

Once you have watered your plants, it is prudent to put something in place to stop that water from evaporating and undoing your hard work. You can add decorative stone, mulch or perhaps wood chippings in a layer on top of a flower bed or pot to prevent water from escaping.

We hope these tips give you a helpful start in knowing when and how to water your garden in a drought.

Enjoy reading our blog? Check out our other useful articles.

‘Till Next week

Jo & Moira

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