Dodging the Drought!

With hosepipe bans in place in many parts of the South East of England gardeners need not despair. Although we cannot use our hoses to water the garden, there are several measures we can take to ensure plants flourish during these difficult times. In this leaflet we have provided you with some handy hints, a list of drought tolerant plants and the facts about hosepipe bans.

Helpful Hints

  • Mulch borders and plants with a good quality mulch such as Levington Soil Conditioner or Chipped Bark. This will help to keep the moisture in the soil for longer.
  • When planting new plants add moisture retention granules along with a good planting compost.
  • Soak new plants in a bucket of water for a few minutes before planting.
  • Plants lose water through their leaves so create a shelter around young or new plants to protect from the wind.
  • Make sure that when watering with a watering can the water reaches the roots and not over the foliage canopy.
  • Water in the early morning or the evening when the sun is not so strong and evaporation is less.
  • Water thoroughly, not little and often as this encourages surface rooting.
  • Do not water established trees and shrubs as this also causes surface rooting. Surface rooting leaves roots susceptible to heat damage and frost damage.
  • Plant in bigger pots with more compost, this keeps the compost cooler and conserves moisture.
  • Install water butts in strategic positions around the garden so you don't have to carry watering cans too far.
  • Lawns - let the grass grow a little longer and then raise the cutting height to 4cm and leave the grass cuttings on the lawn.

Plants for dry conditions

The following list of plants will tolerate drier conditions, however, they do need watering when young to help them establish; plants cannot survive without water!

Agave Halimium
Andromeda Ilex
Arbutus Nandina
Arctostaphyllus Olea
Berberis Darwinii Olearia
Berberis x stenophylla Osmanthus
Buxus Phormium
Calluna Pyracantha
Camellia Skimmia
Cistus Viburnum tinus
Conifers - generally Vinca
Cortaderia x Halimiocistus
Cotoneaster Yucca
Crinodendron Agapanthus
Daphne Ajuga
Elaeagnus Armeria
Escallonia Bergenia
Eucalyptus Eryngium
Euonymus Euphorbia
Gaulnettya Helianthemum
Genista Saxifraga
Griselinia Sedum
  Sempervivum

What does a hosepipe ban mean?

Whilst hosepipe bans are in place you can still water!

You can:

  • Water with a watering can.
  • Water vegetables on a council allotment with a hosepipe, but not in your garden.
  • Fill a watering can, bucket or water butt with a hose.

You cannot:

  • Water lawns or plants with a hose, sprinkler or irrigation system.
  • Water hanging baskets or pots with a hosepipe.
  • Wash the car with a hosepipe.