Confirmation of the lovely summer has now arrived, at least in the North of England where a hosepipe ban is expected from Friday 9th July. Water companies are keeping quiet about their plans for the rest of England but the unusually dry spell continues.
It goes without saying this poses problems for gardens and gardeners, so what can and can't we do?
To be clear, under the ban a hosepipe cannot be used for anything whether the lawn, veggies or just cleaning the car. There is a fine up to £1000 for breaching the ban.
Gardeners can water using water from water butts and from filling up watering cans and watering by hand. For most of us with limited time, costs and resources this means priority watering by which the lawn is left to go brown and precious water expended on veggies, pots and the garden. The hanging baskets and the veg plot will need attention; the Sunday Gardener leaves the garden plants to fend for themselves, unless they start to shrivel or wilt. Garden plants, especially those which are established will last longer than you think depending on soil type. If they look really sad it may be necessary to intervene with the watering can.
For those with timer based irrigation systems, especially to cover holidays, this is a bit of a disaster. There are some ideas on the web site in gardening tips what to do to cover holidays. But the sure and safest bet is a reliable friend, a fellow allotment holder or a paid gardener. It's a great shame to bring on tomatoes from seed, nurture and grow to almost ready to harvest, only to find on return from holiday dried out dead ones.