Here are our top tips for Effective watering and watering saving tips!
Borders and beds
Dig compost, leaf mould and well-rotted manure into the soil to help it hold onto the moisture for longer. To help get the water directly to the roots sink a flowerpot or an upside down plastic bottle with the bottom cut off into the soil next to the plants and water into it.
Also choose plants that naturally tolerate dry soil. Grey leaved plants such as Lavender and Santolina are good at retaining moisture. Drought resistant plants, such as Cistus are very good in sandy soils.
You could also spread a layer of mulch across the soil to lock in moisture. These can be applied any time of the year.
Set up an automatic watering system with a water timer fitted to an outdoor tap and a micro-irrigation system. Top up containers with a decorative mulch such as pebbles to prevent moisture loss.
Choose hanging baskets with a reservoir – this distributes the water when the compost needs it.
You could also add water-retaining gel to the compost in containers or buy compost with granules already included.
Let the houseplants stand on capillary matting when you go away. The felt-like matting sucks the water from a reservoir of saved water, and the roots suck it up into the pot.
Make sure the mower blades are sharp. Blunt blades will tear the grass and expose a lager cut area than sharp blades which leads to greater moisture loss.
Longer grass deals better with drought, so raise the lawnmower blades to a higher level.
If you buy a new lawnmower, consider a mulching model that finely shreds and returns clippings to the surface of the lawn.
Some more water saving tips:
– Fit a water butt and save plenty of rainwater in wet periods to use when it’s dryer.
– Watering less frequently, but more thoroughly helps them develop deep root systems.
– Water in the morning or in the evening; allow plants to soak up moisture before it gets too hot during the day.
Until next time
Horticulturalist, Powerscourt Garden Pavilion