Promoting sustainable living within the local community

Use the best watering techniques for your plants

Getting the hose out may be tempting but the bad news is that not only is it frequently very wasteful of water, it's nowhere near as effective as it might look. Hoses can produce jets of water that can damage the surface of the soil, resulting in water running away from plants. Solve this by attaching a lance or spray gun.  More effective methods include:

  • Sprinklers: these are best used to soak unplanted areas.  Sprinklers have great coverage but you can’t target specific sections of your garden with them.
  • Hoses and watering cans: labour intensive but precise, use these to water around plant bases beneath the leaves, and leave the surrounding soil dry. This limits weed growth and means all the water goes where it is needed.
  • Seep hoses: these allow water to seep out of holes in the hose. They can be buried under soil or mulch, which avoids evaporation. They allow you to water established plants in rows, but are best used on heavy soil as water spreads further sideways, covering more than it would on lighter soils. 
  • Automated irrigation systems: these allow water to drip or trickle into growing areas whenever you programme them to do so. They save time and effort, but they are the most expensive option.  Make sure you take hot and dry weather into account when you programme your system.  

Finally, in general, avoid watering lawns. This is one of the most wasteful practices of all. Grass is very tough and always greens up again after rain.