News: Spring/Summer 2006
Water saving tips for gardeners
Appeared on Space For Nature on May 4th 2006
Top gardening author gives his advice on coping with drought conditions in the garden.
Andy McIndoe, author of The Hillier Gardener's Guide to Design & Planting
(David & Charles, £14.99 paperback) and Managing Director of Hillier
Nurseries, will be giving a 30 minute presentation on the 'Let's Talk
Gardening' Stage at BBC Gardeners' World Live at the NEC on the 18 June at
3pm. (The lectures are free however you have to pay to get into the event.) Here are his top ten tips for conserving water in the garden.
- Use your bath water and washing up water on plants in the open ground.
Providing you are sparing in the use of detergents this makes useful
- Don't waste water on the lawn, save it for flowers and vegetables. Grass does not die it just goes dormant in dry weather. The lawn may look parched and brown but it quickly recovers when rain comes.
- Set your mower higher to leave the grass a little longer. Longer grass
retains its green colour for longer. Short grass looks dry and brown in
- Use a loam-based compost such as John Innes in pots and containers. It
holds water and nutrients more efficiently and plants are less liable to
- Cover the surface of the compost in pots and containers with gravel or
decorative stone chippings. This looks good and helps to keep the compost
cool and retains moisture.
- Mulch flowerbeds and borders with a good depth of chipped bark. This
retains moisture and suppresses weeds at the same time.
- Always water in the early morning or late in the evening when the ground
and plants are cooler. Less water evaporates and more water gets to the
- Save plastic water and soft drinks bottles, cut off the bases and bury
inverted alongside newly planted trees and shrubs. Water into these, they
act as funnels and direct water straight to the roots.
- Choose bedding plants that require less water: geraniums, petunias,
helichrysum and gazanias are all good choices. Reduce watering once the
roots are established.
- Think Mediterranean and aromatic: lavender, sage, thyme and rosemary all
like hot dry conditions and produce aromatic foliage, great for summer
Clare Owen, Publicity & Marketing Manager, David & Charles Book Publishers. 2006. Email March 28th 2006.
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