Save water in the garden

Waterwise has calculated that using water in our gardens and outside accounts for over 50% of peak demand for water in summer. Many parts of the UK have had hosepipe bans in recent years, and with more of us moving to metered water, it makes sense to think about water efficiency outside.

  • Washing bikes and cars

    Use a bucket and sponge rather than a hosepipe. The Energy Saving trust have calculated that this uses about 90% less water.If you do use a hosepipe, fit a trigger nozzle so that you only use water when required.

    A water butt pump enables you to pressurise stored rainwater for cleaning.
  • Lawns

    An established lawn should not be watered. If patches go brown in a dry spell, they will soon green up when the rain returns. Set your mower blade higher so that grass is not cut too short. Longer grass helps to shade the soil beneath, reducing the water lost to evaporation.
  • Watering Plants

    Only water plants when they show signs of needing a drink or if they are newly planted. Watering early morning or preferably late evening minimises the water lost to evaporation and prevents scorching.

    Target watering at the plants' roots and ensure that you drench the soil there thoroughly. It is easier to target watering if you use a watering can.
  • How to Reduce Watering

    Mulching beds will seal in moisture, preventing evaporation. Apply a deep layer of chipped bark or other mulch to moist soil. Choose plants that are more resistant to drought. Many herbs originate from the Mediterranean and are able to survive dry periods. Perennials and shrubs should not need much watering once established.

    Fit an automatic watering system to containers. These use a water efficient drip system - and are often exempt from hosepipe bans.
  • Fit a water butt

    Your roof collects tens of thousands of litres of rainwater each year - and this could fill your water butt hundreds of times over. Some plants prefer rain water as it is softer than mains water.

    Use with a watering can.