Garden watering advice from the Horticultural Trades
Association and Horticultural Development Council...
Don’t despair if you are affected by a hosepipe restriction – there are many
other ways to ensure that your garden gets all the water it needs.
Follow our advice and your plants will flourish, even during
hot, dry spells.
Firstly, check to
find out if you are affected by restrictions. Contact
your water company or check on the Environment Agency website,
Know what you can and can’t do.
You can still use your hose (sensibly, of
course) even under a hosepipe restriction.
YOU CAN USE A HOSEPIPE TO:
- Fill watering cans, water butts, pressure sprayers and other empty
- Connect a pressure washer to the outside tap
- Hose down pets and livestock
- Supply water for DIY and hard landscaping projects, eg for mixing
concrete, mortar, etc.
- Fill up ponds and pools
- Water a council allotment
- Supply water to garden showers and children’s toys
- Clean windows and buildings, including greenhouses
YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO:
- Water plants or the soil directly
- Wash cars
WATER LESS OFTEN:
- There are several ways to reduce the number of times you need to
- Water-retaining gel
- Manual watering systems
- Soil reservoirs
- Break the crust
- Add organic matter
- The lawn - let the grass grow a little longer before mowing, then
raise the cutting height to 4cms (1.5 inches) and leave the cuttings on
- Provide shelter - pick a planting spot that is protected by walls,
fences, hedges or other plants
- Bigger pots – use a bigger pot and more compost to cool the soil and
- Don’t water when it’s not needed
- Watering little and often is less efficient and uses more water than a
single thorough watering
- Be sure to deliver water directly to the base of plants
- Water early or late in the day to avoid evaporation losses
- Don’t rush and gush
- Don’t overfill watering cans
- Do make full use of one or more water butts to collect rainwater
- If daunted by watering cans or physically unable to carry them, you
can now buy electric water butt pumps complete with hose fittings, which
will give you sufficient pressure to run a hosepipe or a drip irrigation
system from your water butt.
- Use a backpack sprayer to water plants - but do make sure that you
have cleaned it thoroughly if it has previously been used to spray
weedkiller or insecticide solutions
- Consider installing a greywater diversion kit to channel used water
from your bath or shower, from the downpipe to the garden.
For more detailed consumer advice visit the HTA website at
In association with the Horticultural Development Council (HDC)
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