Take advantage of rain to plan for dry conditions, gardeners urged
Despite the current wet weather ‘we are nowhere near ensuring supplies are topped up for the year ahead’, Royal Horticultural Society warns.
Gardeners are being urged not to be complacent in the face of the current wet weather but to take advantage of the rain to prepare for dry conditions.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) warned that despite the recent rain, supplies were not where they needed to be, in the wake of two consecutive years of dry summers and winters.
The warning comes as one water company, Affinity Water, which serves 3.6 million people in parts of London and the Home Counties, said drought conditions mean it may need to introduce a hosepipe ban in the spring.
Gardeners are being urged by the RHS to think how they will collect and store water over the coming months.
They should think about where roofs and downpipes could be used to fill water butts – which even come in slim models for tight spaces or ornamental styles for visible areas – to help reduce use of hose pipes.
Getting planting this autumn will help ensure plant roots have the best chance of survival because of increased moisture in the ground as they get established.
The RHS said gardeners should also consider what they can do to minimise hard landscaping and maximise the amount of greenery to minimise flooding and help soil retain water during rainfall.
Porous paving, gravel, hedges, lawns and grass can all help gardens swallow rain so it seeps into the groundwater and tops up ponds, while cutting back borders can also help catch water, the horticultural experts said.
RHS garden water scientist Janet Manning said: “Water is a finite resource and despite the recent wet weather we are nowhere near ensuring supplies are topped up for the year ahead.
“It’s important that, like our savings, people consider what they can do to prepare for dry periods when it seems that water is in abundance.”