Top Tips for Having A Water-Smart Garden - Bristol, UK
TOP TIPS FOR HAVING AWATER-SMART GARDENWorking with nature, not against itWe all need water to live and grow and plants are no different.Without water most will shrivel and die. Water is vital to plants in a number of ways:• roots suck water up into the plant bringing in vital nutrients• water pressure keeps the plant standing upright… that’s why they wilt when they start running out of water• water is used in the process called photosynthesis which converts the sun’s energy into food for the plant• water evaporating from the leaves cools the plant FACT: Plants are mostly made up of water... a tomato, for example is 90% water,SO, does this mean we should be just a bag of water really.constantly watering plants?NO, is the simple answer. Watering plants all the time is the easy way out and can actually harm them.Water is also a precious substance and we should not waste it.What is a water-smart garden?Simply put, it is a garden that does not waste water. It does not mean don’t water, but it does mean only water when youhave to and plan your garden so that the need to water is kept down to a minimum. There are many ways to do this like thediagram we have below. In this simple idea we have split our garden into three areas that have different water needs.DRY GARDEN DROUGHT TOLERANT PLANTSThis is a garden where GREY LEAF PLANTSlittle if any watering is There are a great varietyneeded. The plants used of colourful plantsare called grey leaf available that look andplants and come from smell wonderful but don’tcountries where water need much watering.is scarce. This area also By choosing these youuses different gravels DROUGHT can have a beautifulto create a distinctive VEGETABLES TOLERANT PLANTS garden that is not thirsty. & HERBSbackground.VEG ‘N’ HERBSThis area will need some watering to allow the veg to develop but each type of veg will havea different need. Make sure you know what they want and water to suit. Cucumbers, for example,need more water than potatoes. Try to keep veg that want a similar amount of water together formore efﬁcient watering. Remember, although you might water these plants more than others onceyou have picked the veg to eat, the watering is over until next season.
TOP TIPS FOR LOOKING AFTERA WATER-SMART GARDEN• Don’t mix and match plants • Use pipes or old plastic bottles with different water needs. with the ends cut off to get the Find out what each plant needs. water right down to the roots Group together plants that need similar watering. • A good layer of mulch will keep the moisture that is there• Water plants well at the safe from evaporation and keep early stages of their life to the top layer moist. encourage their roots to reach deep down into the soil making them much more drought • Lawn’s don’t need watering. tolerant. Grass is a very hardy plant and will recover even from the driest summers. If the weather goes• Too much watering can through a prolonged dry period actually harm plants by don’t cut the grass as short. promoting disease and encouraging slugs and snails. • Get a Water Butt and collect rainwater, a simple and easy way• Don’t water when the sun to water plants. is out… It might seem obvious, but if you water when it is hot much of the water will • Get rid of those weeds – evaporate. Water early or later they are competing with your in the day and the plants will plants for any moisture. actually get the water. QUICK QUIZ 1) What time of day 4) What does mulch help do? should plants be watered? a. Help stop weeds growing a. At any time b. Help keep water in b. When the sun is at its hottest c. Improve the structure of the soil c. Early or late in the day d. All the above 2) When you water a plant 5) In very hot weather where do you want it to go? should you: a. To the roots a. Cut your grass short b. All around the ground b. Let it grow longer than usual c. On the leaves c. Do what you always do 3) What percentage of a tomato is made up of water? a. 50% b. 90% Answers: 1 = c, 2 = a, 3 = b, 4 = d, 5 = b c. 20%