How to save water in the garden

We all love beautiful, thriving gardens, but it’s important to think about how we can garden responsibly to save water and protect our environment, to make sure there’s enough to go around in the future.

We can also help by slowing the flow of water into our Storm Overflows. Find out how you can help slow the flow.

Save water and slow the flow in your garden:

  • Use a watering can instead of a hose or sprinkler - Avoid using hosepipes or sprinklers which can use as much as 1,000 litres of clean water an hour. Re-use dishwater or water used to boil vegetables or pasta, and fill a watering can instead. Using a watering can could save up to 4,050 litres a year, that’s equivalent to more than 50 full bathtubs.

  • Leave your lawn - Lawns go brown in dry weather, but they soon bounce back after rainfall. So, they don’t need watering in between. However, you can retain the lawn’s moisture for longer by giving the roots some shade – try trimming your grass slightly longer during dry spells and leave the cuttings on the ground.

  • Time your watering - Water plants before the sun comes out in the morning if you can - then it's less likely to evaporate, and will do the most good. Watering in the evening encourages the slugs and snails to come out at night.

  • Spread some mulch - Apply a thick layer of mulch, compost or chip bark on your soil between plants to help keep the moisture in and suppress weeds.

  • Fit a water butt - Water your garden for free by collecting rainwater in a water butt. Each one holds up to 200 litres of water which you can use around your garden. Rainwater is rich in nutrients, so your plants will love it too. If your area is prone to surface flooding, why not try a slow-drain water butt instead?


Install a water butt:

Just one water butt can hold enough rainwater to fill a watering can 25 times. Based on the average rainfall in the South East, you could fill your butt up to 450 times a year. All that free water means you can use less tap water, saving you money on your bills.

Rainwater is full of nutrients, so your plants will prefer it to tap water. Plus, the less tap water you use, the less we have to take from rivers, reservoirs and underground sources. So, you’ll be reducing pressure on the environment.

It’s easy to fit a water butt – watch our film to find out how.


Water efficient plants

Did you know that many plants can thrive with minimal watering? So, you can create a garden that is both beautiful and uses less water.

Take a look at the handy plant guide by Waterwise to discover water-efficient plants for every position, soil type and flowering time.