What a summer it has been with temperatures we are just not used too. The Hosepipe ban is just coming into place in the UK but here in little old Ireland, we have had it since July 7th !! So I have learnt a thing or two on keeping vegetables alive during a hosepipe ban.
The ban prohibits people from using their garden hose, with a few minor exceptions. People will not be allowed to use a hosepipe to water their garden or potted plants, wash their car or boat, or fill a paddling pool, pond, or water fountain.
Here are my tips on Surviving the Hosepipe ban in your vegetable garden.
- People can still water their garden and plants using a watering can and that is my first tip – get a good watering can.
- Water either in the early morning or late at night so the water gets to the roots before it evaporates
- Mulch your plants to retain water in the soil. With the weather being so warm and the dreaded slug not as active ,you could even use straw.
- Have a water butt – mine is fairly low at the moment but any drop of rain we have goes in it. I also add water from cooking vegetables and eggs.
- Water at the roots to get the water where it is needed most
- Put tender plants, like lettuce in pots that can be moved into the shade . This will stop them from bolting.
- Mix some water-retaining gel into compost before planting – available from garden centers or you can find them in children’s nappies , these crystals absorb moisture, then release it slowly as the compost starts to dry.
- Letting your grass grow a little longer helps to protect it from dry weather and also allows it to recover quicker when it does rain. Longer grass also encourages more wildlife in your garden.
- Some of your plants won’t mind a little less water – a lot of the herbs are loving this warm weather. So prioritize those plants that do need it. I water my tomatoes and cucumbers well and the herb garden least.
- It’s easier to carry two full cans than one. You’re more balanced. You can pick up cheap plastic watering cans for a couple of pounds or less in lots of stores. And if your water supply is a long way from the crops, then invest in another couple of cans and you can take your filled cans down to the crop in a wheelbarrow.
And if all else fails try a rain dance!
What happens if you lose plants to this drought
If you lose plants it is sad but you can replace then with quick growing, mustard greens at will tolerate drought.
Some vegetables love the heat and are also very tolerant of drought, such as New Zealand spinach with its fleshy leaves . Chard, Aubergine , and quite a few bean varieties, such as snap and pole beans which have short growing seasons; snake beans, asparagus beans; garbanzo beans, often called chickpeas also don’t mind a drought.
So far my biggest losses are Lettuce that was in one of the raised bed. The ones in the window box are in the shade and have lasted.
I hope you enjoyed this post here are some more posts you might like
- Growing Courgettes- the How and the Why ?
- Chervil what is it and how to use it?
- 10 tips for the Garden in June
- 10 Tips to Grow Great Strawberries
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