It’s no ifs only butts when rain beckons
24 April 2017

With the forecast showing rain on the horizon, gardeners are being reminded to get their water butts in place.

A large water butt should be able to provide gardeners with most of the water their garden needs if used carefully as average rainfall in the South East can fill each butt up to 450 times a year. Water from a butt can also be used to wash cars.

Lee Dance, Head of Water Resources said: “We have had a particularly dry winter so it is particularly important the rain that does fall is collected and used on our gardens.

“It is well known that plants thrive on rainwater and by drawing from a water butt into a watering can special attention can be given to new plants and those in pots.”

Gardeners are also being asked to use plants that need less watering. They can be identified in garden centres by the full sun on their labels or by checking out a list of plants on the Royal Horticultural Society website rhs.org.uk.

Plants can also be encourage to develop deep root systems by watering them less frequently. When watered regularly they will have shallow roots because they do not need to delve deep into the soil in search for water.

Fact box:


• Just one water butt holds enough rainwater to fill a watering can 25 times
• Plants much prefer rainwater than tap water and using less tap water helps save money on water bills
• Hoses and sprinklers can use up to 1,000 litres of water an hour – equivalent to more than 12 baths
• To reduce water evaporation, water your plants early in the morning or early evening.

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