How To Save Water

We asked our facebook friends for their best ideas for saving water, and this is a selection of their best ideas combined with ours :

LAWNS ! Don't bother watering them, they regrow ! Raise your mower height and leave the grass longer to help it survive in better condition.

VEGETABLES ! Need a lot of water, sink old plant pots or half plastic pop / milk bottles (you get two when you cut them in half if you leave the lid off the top, and punch holes in the bottom) into the ground between them when you plant. Then you can just fill the pots / bottle halves with water for it to go straight down to the roots and avoid losing any to evaporation.

COMPOST! The more compost that you dig into your soil, the more water it will retain, and you'll improve the quality of your soil every year. If you have not got a compost bin , check with your local council if they operate a subsidy green recycling scheme .

MULCH! One step further on from compost, very effective at retaining moisture in the soil, and suppresses weeds too. Can make it difficult to water, though as you have to move it out of the way to get water onto the soil. (Unless you use the flower pot trick), and its not very practical for veg plots either - go for the plenty of compost route instead.

POTS ! Consider mixing some Water Storing Gel into your growing media: the gel will retain excess water releasing it slowly to plant roots – so saving up to 90% of the water you would normally use.

WEEDS! Dig them out, its great exercise, and stops them stealing the water from your plants. Regular hoeing will keep the ground in better condition to absorb water effectively.

CANS ! Try using watering cans to water where you can, you get a much better idea of how much water you are using than with a hosepipe.

CONTAINERS ! Connect the WaterWise approved Aquapod drip irrigation system and a tap timer to ensure that the water turns on and off punctually, without any waste.

STOP IT ! Fit an Aqua Stop connector to the business end of the hose so that the water supply cuts out as soon as a watering device is disconnected. Never use an open hose, as you have no "on / off" control and can waste a lot of water, always fit a multispray gun to the hose ensures that water only flows when the trigger is held down.

BUTTS ! Collect rain water using water butts, and then the best way to avoid traipsing around the garden with dozens of heavy watering cans is to submerge a Hozelock Water Butt Pump into your stored water so that you can distribute it with a hose, just as easily as connecting to the mains supply.

DRIP ! Set up a drip irrigation system which may be exempt from the hose pipe ban in your area

When watering count the number of seconds you water a plant / area for, then move on. It will help you stop wasting bucket loads of water on one spot, and make sure all the plants get enough water.

However you water, if water starts to run off and away from the plants, its time to stop and let it soak in.

Use drought resistant plants - natures answer for less watering. For more information on plants suited to drier environments click here

Where possible, water the base of plants, not the foliage. Some plants like rhubarb are designed to channel water to the roots, but many others will just drip it off the leaves into the spaces between the plants, where it is wasted. Sunlight on wet leaves can cause scorch damage too.

When you clean out your fish tanks, give the nutrient rich water to the plants.

Connect a water butt to your greenhouse to collect rainwater for your tomato's.

Set up a hose in the bathroom and siphon the old bathwater down into the garden, or divert the old shower and bathwater direct from the grey water waste into a water butt. You can also use a Hozelock Water Butt Pump for this.

We have created a hose ban information page at and we'll keep it updated, if and when, any UK water companies introduce restrictions on the use of water in the garden.

[Spraying - Small]
[Watering - Small]