Gardeners are being urged to start saving water and preparing their gardens for a long hot summer.
The experts at GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have put together nine top tips for saving water and getting gardens in top condition before the sunny weather.
Some tips require preparation now, including opting for drought resistant plants and getting soil in good condition with regular weeding and adding lots of natural fertiliser.
Other advice includes investing in a water butt to collect rainwater and saving grey water to use on the garden.
A spokesperson for GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk said: “Last summer was beautiful but brutal to gardens across the UK. However, there are simple steps gardeners can take to make sure their outside space is summer ready.
“There are things that need attention now, like buying a water butt, improving the condition of the soil and regular watering.
“Other pieces are advice are for when the hot weather hits. Among the tips are advice on the best times to water and the plants gardeners should prioritise.”
Here are the GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk tips:
1. Look after your soil
If your soil is in top condition, then it won’t need as much watering. Try adding natural fertilisers to the soil to improve its structure. This will help retain moisture. Pull out any weeds too – you don’t want the water you do put on the garden to help the weeds grow and not the plants.
2. Mulching flower beds
Try laying mulch around flower beds and in hanging baskets. This will trap moisture and prevent it evaporating during sunny spells.
3. Water at the right time
Water well before sunny spells. This will help prevent a water deficit when it heats up. When it is hot, water the garden first thing in the morning and in the evening when its cooler and the sun has set. It will reduce the amount of evaporation.
4. Plant drought resistant plants
Some plants needs less water than others, so if you’re serious about saving water, opt for those that require very little.
5. Invest in a water butt
Divert a drainpipe into a water butt and start collecting. By the warmer months you’ll have plenty of water ready to use in the garden.
6. Grey water
Bath water and washing up water can both be used on the garden. Just avoid any water containing bleach, disinfectant or string cleaners.
7. Use a watering can
Opt for watering can rather than a hose to water the garden. If you do use a hose, use a trigger to closely control the flow.
8. Be selective
Not all plants need the same amount of water. Fruit and veg are worth watering regularly. It’s also worth prioritising containers, any new plants and hanging baskets. Grass is really resilient and even if it turns brown, will grow back lush and green.
9. Water retaining crystals
These are worth investing in to retain water in pots, so you don’t have to water so often.