With temperatures across the UK soaring recently, gardeners are being asked to take action now to adopt money and water saving habits while protecting the environment as they take advantage of the warmer weather in what is traditionally one of the busiest times in the garden.
We have some top tips that can easily be applied to keep flowers blooming throughout the summer. These include installing a water butt as just one can collect 24,000 litres of water from a roof every year - enough to make 160,000 cups of tea or coffee.
Roy Chandler, who owns Gardeners Paradise, in Canterbury, also advises that another money and water saver is to use coconut coir as a mulch because it retains moisture easily and naturally.
He said: “Coir mulch is a natural by-product from the inside of a coconut which in the garden both holds water and drains well keeping plants hydrated. In addition, it slowly breaks down, adding nutrients back into the soil as compost. Coir also helps control weeds and lasts up to three years.”
But with the squeeze on household budgets this year there are a number of ways that gardeners can get into the habit of saving water in the garden. Saving rainwater is the best way to minimise water use in the garden and to do this water butts can be fixed to every downpipe on the home, shed, greenhouse or garage.
Water-retaining crystals can be used to retain water in containers so they do not need watering so often and mulch can be used around plants to prevent evaporation of water.
Consider planting more drought-tolerate plants (such as Abelia grandiflora, box plants, Ceanothus, Sedum and Euphorbia) that are well adapted to drier conditions and don’t require as much watering.
Finally, water less frequently as this encourages plants to develop deep root systems. A good soak once every 10 days or so is sufficient for most shrubs.
Free water saving gadgets along with more tips and hints can be found at southeastwater.co.uk/watersavingtips
Top of the tips are:
For more water saving tips go to: southeastwater.co.uk/savewater