Water is essential for a quality garden. As we strive to be more sustainable, how do we keep our gardens looking their best while also conserving water? It all starts with the equipment and using water wisely. This guide shows you how.
Having a quality hose and fittings is essential. Your hose should be free from leaks and shouldn’t kink or knot. When you open the tap with the nozzle closed it shouldn’t swell when under pressure. If it does any of these things then it’s time to repair or replace it.
If your hose is in good condition apart from a leak, you can buy a joiner, cut out the damaged section and repair it.
While your tap is fully turned for maximum water pressure, look closely around the fittings on the hose at both the tap and nozzle end. Are there any leaks where the fittings and the hose meet or are they well-sealed? If they are leaking, there are a few likely causes that are easily diagnosed:
As you put your fittings back on make sure the lugs don’t get folded over, that the fitting pushes all the way on and that you screw the collar on straight and as tight as you can. Don’t be tempted to use tools, just hold the fitting and collar with a cloth to give you extra grip.
With full water pressure, look for leaks where the fittings connect to the tap and the nozzle. If it’s leaking, look inside your hose fitting to make sure there are no damaged or missing parts. If so, replace the fitting.
Look at the black O-rings on the adaptor fitting screwed onto your tap and tail-end connector on your nozzle or sprinkler. If they appear loose, damaged or perished then replace them. Just use care when removing the old O-ring. Do this check and replace O-rings on all of your nozzles and sprinklers at least once a year.
Your hose-end nozzles and sprinklers are your watering tools. There are a few things to consider when selecting:
Watering at the end of the day, especially in hot and dry weather, may seem like the best idea but it can be inefficient and problematic. Hot soil or garden areas, even lawns, are less able to absorb water. This means you’ll lose water to run-off.
Some water will also be lost to evaporation caused by the combination of hot soil and mulch, and the air temperature. As it evaporates it increases the humidity around plants. Having plants sitting in a warm, humid environment overnight allows a host of fungal disorders to take hold.
Watering early in the morning will see plants and soil more able to take up moisture, replenishing and charging themselves up for the day ahead.
The objective when watering is to get the right level of water to our plants, but all too often we spread an awful lot of water between our plants. To ensure your watering has maximum impact, make sure water is falling where the roots are. With most plants the largest concentration of roots that are seeking water will be around what’s called the drip-zone. This is the area below the edge of the foliage canopy where water falling as rain would naturally run down to. Of course this isn’t applicable for each and every plant in your garden. Some strappy-leaved plants, such as agapanthus, clivia and bromeliads, will channel water down their leaves, back towards the core of the plant. To be efficient with your watering it pays to know a little about the plants themselves.
Water you garden well and wisely by following these tips:
One of the most important parts of watering is making sure that wastage is avoided and water is targeted to the right areas. The tips above will help with how you deliver water to your plants and garden but how do you keep the water where you want it?
For more tips, check out Getting the most from your garden hose.
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