Your garden during a hose pipe ban

Your garden during a hose pipe ban
how to get around a hose pipe ban,
how to water your garden in hose pipe ban

Although it has not yet happened, a hose pipe ban seems almost inevitable. Prepare yourself now to water more efficiently, and more important, legally. It’s been a big investment, know what you can and can’t do in your garden during a hose pipe ban.

According to the Met Office, April 2017 in the southern region where we are saw less than 20% of the average rainfall for the last 30 years.

That has implications for those trying to undertake the regular scheduled garden jobs that we’d expect to do at this time of the year. Planting and dividing perennials, planting large shrubs or trees sowing or repairing lawns – try aerating a lawn with clay underneath right now – are all jobs having to be delayed. Unfortunately we don’t know until when, making planning projects quite difficult.

Your garden during a hose pipe ban
Rainfall in April was at a 35 year low. Source: Met Office

The lack of rain suggests a ban on hose pipes. They use 900 litres an hour, so are an easy way to save water usage. But they don’t consider your garden during a hose pipe ban.

There are ways to get around it, though I don’t advocate using hose pipes willy nilly. If you are a blue badge holder you can register to continue to use your hose pipe. But for everyone else the watering can beckons. You can fill and empty the watering can as many times as you like.

Every cloud has a silver lining

But those with extensive gardens this may be an opportunity. Invest now in an irrigation system, to save water now and still be able to keep your plants alive. And to save you time and water in the future. An irrigation system, especially with automated or timed watering can also be an asset that adds value to your garden and house.

There are several makers to consider, and they start from simple leaky hose pipe laid across flower beds to complex pipes with dropper or spray valves. Only the ones that drip onto soil are exempt, so no no sprays or misters.

Leaky pipe systems use the same connectors as your regular hose. Installing now makes sense, while plants are still not too big. They get water down onto the ground where plants need it most. This cuts out the wind drift and evaporation associated with sprinklers.

Mulching over the top with leaf mould will help keep that moisture in, and also help stop weeds. Some of them can grow  regardless of how much water we get.

I personally use leaky pipes in the greenhouse and in the main flower beds, and can’r recommend them enough.  They can really make a difference to your garden during a hose pipe ban. Get them ordered and install now before the garden centres run out.

The RHS still have their advice from April 2012 on their website, describing strategies to cope with drought.