At this time of year, the hot dry weather is pretty difficult to ignore! All over the UK people are taking advantage of the sunshine, and with these conditions forecast for the rest of July at least we seem to be set for a scorching summer.
However, as nice as the weather is, heavy sunshine can cause plenty of potential problems for gardeners. Sunlight is certainly healthy for plants, but too much of it can cause greens to wither and dry out. Worse yet, without a period of sustained rainfall to replenish our reservoirs, certain parts of the UK are having to deal with an emergency resort: hosepipe bans.
During a serious drought, water companies will often impose bans like this in order to restrict the use of water for non-essential purposes. Sadly, this almost always extends to watering private gardens with hosepipes or sprinklers, putting even well established plants in danger.
Luckily, by trying out a few tried and tested tricks it is EASY to minimise the impact of the hosepipe ban on your garden.
For expert help on keeping your garden healthy, it will be best to book a consultation with a local gardener. They can provide a professional garden maintenance service if things get out of hand or, if necessary, recommend more drought-proof plants to replace anything you lose. Remember, immediately swapping out dead plants for exact replacements will usually leave you with the same problems. Why not treat this as a chance to redesign your garden for the summer?
During a heatwave, the UK gets a great deal of sunshine and little rainfall. Over time this can have a serious impact on our water levels, causing supplies to dwindle and reservoirs to dry up (you may have already seen this on the news!)
With water being such an essential resource, droughts will often drive suppliers to restrict its usage. Water companies will usually do this by issuing a ‘hosepipe ban’, limiting the use of water for non-essential purposes.
While we are sure this makes them enormously grateful to customers, it is not an entirely one-sided deal: most of the time, customers will enjoy a reduced water bill the following year in order to offset the restricted usage.
You will be glad to know that the hosepipe ban is not nationwide. Instead, it is up to individual water companies to decide on if, when and how to impose a ban.
A single policy can easily effect over a million people, so it is important to remain informed in case your home is affected. While it is certainly important to do your part so that we have enough water for the essentials, you should also know that water companies can impose fines of over £1,000 to those who ignore restrictions.
In short, your plants aren’t the only green you could lose out on!
Hosepipe bans have already been introduced in the north west of England and Northern Ireland. With forecasters expecting hot weather for the rest of July at least, millions of people are already feeling the impact of losing the water they use for private gardens and washing.
It is important to keep in mind that because there is no single blanket hosepipe ban, individual examples can differ in terms of policy. However, there are a few common rules which those affected can expect at this time:
While the hosepipe ban may restrict wasteful watering, there are still a number of ways for you to keep your plants healthy. At the very least you can minimise the damage of the drought, so that your garden can bounce back once the ban ends.
If you want the kind of advice that only comes from a wealth of experience it will be best to speak to a local gardener. As well as helping you to care for the plants you already have, they can also suggest hardier drought-resistant varieties if you need to make any replacements.