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How to save water when gardening this summer

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Did you know that rainwater is much better for garden plants than tap water ?

Rainwater is also better for garden ponds and other garden aquatics such as bird baths, and is free and easy to collect in a water butt. Obviously there is some initial investment required to buy and install the water butt. However, the cost is generally very low and some local councils make them available at discounted prices - it's worth phoning your local council to ask about any schemes they run. Also try your local water company as many water companies are offering low-cost water butts and other water-saving products to their customers (e.g. Thames Water, South-West Water, Yorkshire Water, and Wessex Water).

Now that the sun is out again, plants are growing fast, and the garden is coming alive, we're thinking about making the most of our garden during the summer months. This has already involved some garden centre extravagance as the time came to plant new summer bedding plants. They have also required a large amount of water to establish them well. This got us thinking about the possibility of installing one or more water butts.

The advice we found about this is as follows:

          • Select a downpipe around which there is plenty of room to stand a water butt close by.
          • Cut the downpipe at the desired height and fit a diverter (usually supplied with the water butt).
          • Ensure the butt is on a water butt stand or firm base - ideally above the ground so that you can get a watering can under the tap easily (so check the size of your watering can).
          • Make sure your water butt or any other collection vessel has a secure, childproof lid. This is to protect children, and also to prevent debris and mosquitoes from entering the water butt.

Do try to save water over the coming hot summer months, and ...
Happy Gardening !

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