Tips For Watering Gardens

Featured in the July 2010 handbook.

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Patio plants in pots are the main thing that have to be water and one of the best ways is to always use a fine gravel, a pea gravel or slate chippings to cover the top of the soil. The pots hardly ever dry out completely, and the combination of different toppings adds colour and texture to the pots. It's also sensible to move pots out of direct sunlight if you can when water is scarce - most plants like a bit of shade from time to time.

Put a rainwater collector and water butt onto the waste-pipe from the bathroom - this will make collection of bathwater automatic.

Compost made at home from kitchen and garden waste such as grass cuttings, scrunched up paper and vegetable or fruit peelings could be the answer. As well as being an excellent and free fertiliser, compost helps garden soil hold onto water. Added to flowerbeds or as a topdressing to lawns, the spongy structure of compost soaks up water, holding it in the soil and slowing down its evaporation into the air. Compost's ability to improve the structure of your soil by loosening it up also allows plant roots move deeper into the earth in search of much needed moisture.

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