How to use less water Garden water savers
Ditch the sprinkler
In one hour a sprinkler can use up to 1,000 litres of water – the equivalent of two days' water consumption by a family of four. Most suburban gardens can be adequately watered using a 10-litre watering can.
- Water saving Up to 1,000 litres (£2.50*) an hour
Your plants will benefit more from a weekly soak than a daily sprinkle. Fruit and vegetables and plants that have just been potted are the exceptions to the rule.
Remember to water the soil, not the plant, for maximum benefit. Watering in the evening is most beneficial as water evaporation is slower.
- Water saving Depends on the size of your garden.
Turn off your hose
Using a hose can cost a lot of money, and if there's a drought you might be banned from using one all together.
Wash your car using a couple of bucketfuls of water, not a hose connected to a tap. A hose can use as much water in half an hour as an average family does in a day.
- Water saving Up to 500 litres a car wash (£1.25)
Buy a water butt
All the water a typical garden needs to stay green in summer can be collected from your house, garage or shed roof in a single water butt. See our current Best Buy water butts.
- Water saving Depending on the size of your garden, a water butt could save thousands of litres each summer.
Line the inside of terracotta pots with plastic and use mulch in borders – both will reduce evaporation. Plant drought-tolerant silvery or narrow-leafed plants.
- Water saving Halves the amount of water required to keep your plants alive.
Water-saving factsheets from Which? Gardening
Which? Gardening provides free factsheets online. The following factsheets can help you save water in the garden:
- Best Buy vegetable varieties - these are generally plants that do well in all conditions, including drought-tolerant plants.
- Gardening on chalk, gravel, clay and sand - all of which can suffer when there's a drought. This factsheet includes tips on how to improve the soil to mitigate this.
- Feeding and watering - useful guide to find out how much water different vegetables need.
- Making good compost - improving soil structure and boosting the organic matter component will help to reduce water loss.
- Installing an irrigation system as well as planting drought-tolerant plants.
* 'Money saved' figures refer to water meter customers on an average tariff charging 0.25p per litre.