How to care for your garden during a hosepipe ban

We’ve had a scorcher of a summer so far, with record-breaking temperatures, and it looks like the hot weather is set to continue.

So much so, a hosepipe ban in certain parts of the country has come into effect from today, with more to follow over the coming weeks.

But how can you ensure your garden doesn’t dry up without relying on a hosepipe?

Jack Sutcliffe, founder of shed manufacturer Power Sheds, has shared a few helpful tips to protect your garden from the heat.

Add compost to your plants 

Jack explains that to increase the soil’s capacity to hold water compost is a great addition to your plants and pots. 

He says: ‘Not only is this a good way to prepare for a drought but it can also protect your garden against heavy downpours. 

‘Although these are usually rare in summer, climate watchers predict a few bad storms, so compost is the best solution to protect your plans from these two extremes.’

Mow your lawn less 

It’s simple: when you mow your lawn, more water is lost than usual.

So reducing the amount you mow your lawn can help retain moisture.

Jacks said: ‘On hot days, make sure to mow your lawn during the coolest part of the day.

‘Another good tip for mowing during a heatwave is to leave the clippings on the ground for longer and raise the height of your mower, as taller grass protects the soil and helps reduce water loss.’

Help the soil stay moist 

Green-fingered enthusiasts will know that the biggest risk to plants in high temperatures is the soil drying out. 

Jack said: ‘Your first line of defence against this should be to use a layer of mulch around plants to help the soil stay moist after watering.

‘There are many different mulch materials gardeners can use during a heatwave – dry grass clippings from your lawn are a great option.’

Get the right pots for your plants 

You may not be aware that the right pots can help plants stay hydrated for longer.

‘For example, an unsealed terracotta allows water to evaporate quickly from the soil, which leads to plants drying out and dying much sooner,’ says Jack.

As a result, the best solution for this is to either get an already sealed terracotta pot, or seal it with a specialised sealer. 

This is the same for black plastic pots, which will attract heat due to their colour. Jack suggests choosing light-coloured options to reflect the sunlight instead. 

Water your plants early in the morning  

‘The key thing when it comes to watering plants in a drought is to do it less frequently but very thoroughly, as this will get the soil to stay moist for longer,’ says Jack.

Early morning is actually the best time of day to water your garden – as this will give the soil the best chance to absorb as much moisture as possible, before the strong sunshine evaporates it. 

Evenings are not so great, as sometimes water left on leaves overnight can cause fungi to develop.    

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