How to cope with a hosepipe ban

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hosepipe-ban-2012Though the recent downpours have made the hosepipe ban in the South East less of a dread, it’s going to take more than a few days of rain to restore water levels.

And if you dig deep into your soil, you’ll find that a few inches down, it’s pretty parched already – all that rain is simply running off the surface and draining away.

We still need to prepare for a long dry summer ahead – and even if you’re not in an area with a hosepipe ban, it’s good environmental practice to be economical with your water use.

I’ve been down to the hardware shop and invested in the largest, lightest watering can I’m able to carry.

Next step is to dig out a couple of old plastic dustbins from the shed and press them into service as water butts to collect rainwater. Diverting your downpipe from your home’s roof guttering is a simple task, with drainpipe converter kits available from most DIY superstores.

But what else can we do? Don’t despair at the drought – take action to beat the hosepipe ban and keep your garden looking green with these gardening tips.

Target your watering

There’s no need to drench everywhere; check out what’s wilting or in need of extra moisture, and aim for its roots.

Sinking a plastic pot or cut-off bottle into the earth next to something thirsty will help direct the water straight to where it’s wanted.

Time your watering

There’s little point spraying everything in the heat of the midday sun, when droplets will simply evaporate. Instead, watering early morning or at night, allowing time for water to soak in, is best.[amazon-product align=”right” small=”1″]0711214255[/amazon-product]

Mulch

Dig in a layer of moisture-absorbing bark chippings or other organic matter around plants. Gravel may help retain moisture in pots.

Waste not want not

Besides investing in a water butt or two, save your household waste water – even your bathwater can be reused.

Wash up into a bowl, and reuse that water too.

Native plants

A perfectly green lawn may not be realistic (but it will recover, when it rains).

Trying to keep tropical plants alive is also going to be hard work; think about drought-friendly and less water-thirsty alternatives, such as those which can survive a Mediterranean summer.

Do your research – and read Beth Chatto’s classic book, Gravel Garden, pretty much the set text for ‘dry gardening’ and a guide to gardening with nature, not against it. You can’t fight the climatic conditions.

There’s little you can do about a hosepipe ban, or indeed, the weather. But one thing you have control over is finding quality home protection insurance – a must to help protect your home, as it can offer invaluable protection against hazards, like storm damage.

This is a sponsored post written by Polly Vaughan

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