Thursday, 1 December 2011
Beat the hosepipe bans - Install a water butt
Many of us regretted letting what little rain that did fall escape and evaporate off their shed or summer house into thin air. Well now it's time to put right that wrong and do something about it to ensure you aren't left high and dry (excuse the pun!) next time the nation experiences water shortages.
Much of the UK is seeing an increase in the amount of rainfall, but harnessing this precious water will increase your stocks and give you enough to keep your garden healthy.
This is where the water butt comes in handy. Whether you have a summerhouse, shed or indeed greenhouse, you have no excuse - install water butts and start saving your water for the garden.
If you don't have a suitable garden building, you will find a range of summerhouses for sale in garden centres, but the best discounts are available online - the same goes for sheds and greenhouses.
Now is a great time to get yourself a water butt. Just one inch of rainfall on a 1,000 square foot roof will gather up to 623 gallons of water, providing you with enough to fill 400 watering cans.
Rain water is also soft water so is free of chlorine, making it better for your plants.
This water is the perfect temperature to encourage your flowers to grow, although the young seedlings will do better if watered using tap water that has been left to stand for at least an hour, rather than from your water butt.
You will need to set up a guttering system on your summerhouse to enable all of the water to flow from the roof into your tank. This may be easier to do on corner summerhouses, but can be added to most garden buildings, including playhouses.
While water butts aren't the most exciting thing to see in a garden, many will agree that the more basic products will blend in to their surroundings better. The best thing to do is choose the biggest possible unit that you are comfortable with.
Also, don't forget to find one that has a lid - this will help to keep your precious water and stop it evaporating, while also preventing any accidents involving children or animals, and stopping mosquito larvae from breeding.
Square or rectangular tanks generally hold considerably more than round butts, so this is also something to consider. Another useful tip is to make sure a bucket or watering will fit nicely under the tap.
Now you have access to all the water you need and can relax the next time there is a water shortage in your area.