Garden Ninja teams up with water firm to highlight water saving hacks

Watering at night, not during the day, lavender not petunias and mulch rather than bare soil.

These are just a few of the water saving hacks that Garden Ninja, Lee Burkhill, is recommending to keen gardeners in the North West.

Lee has teamed up with regional water company, United Utilities, to demonstrate how green-fingered residents can maintain a healthy garden and still use water wisely.
The Royal Horticultural Society recently reported a surge in online queries for gardening advice, while United Utilities’ recent research found that two in five homeowners are using more water in their gardens since lockdown began.

RHS award-winning garden designer, Lee, said: “The lockdown has seen lots of people try their hand at gardening. There are some really simple ways to maintain a healthy garden without worrying about using too much water. These tips can also save you a lot of time.”

According to the Garden Ninja, there are several simple changes you can make to your gardening habits to make the most of your water and maximise enjoyment of your carefully nurtured oasis:

1. Swap your hosepipe for a watering can - This swap will reduce water usage significantly, making you more aware of the amount of water being used.
2. Install a water butt to collect rainwater - Make the most of rainy days and use water that would otherwise drain away on your lawn and shrubs.
3. Water your garden in the early morning or late evening - Avoid watering plants in the middle of the day, when the temperature is usually at its warmest, to minimise water lost through evaporation.
4. Leave your lawn alone - Grass is one of the toughest of all garden plants. Even if your lawn turns yellow, it will recover.
5. Mulch your borders by adding a layer of compost, bark chips or grass clippings to your borders - An added layer will help stop excess water evaporating, minimising the amount of water  required.
6. Reuse water from washing salad and fruit - Instead of throwing it down the drain, keep water used for rinsing fruit and vegetables and water your plants with it instead.
7. Keep yourself hydrated - While it doesn’t initially sound obvious, carry a bottle of water around to sip throughout the day and pour any that you don’t drink onto the garden.
8. Choose plants that require less water - There are plants out there that thrive in more arid conditions. Examples include lavender and succulents.
9. Fish tank water is great for plants -  If you are cleaning out a fish tank, the nutrients left in the water are great for promoting lush, healthy plants
10. Selective ‘spot’ watering -  Most established shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants can survive without watering. So, select those new plants or ones that look in need and just water them.

Rose Francis, from United Utilities, said: “It’s great to see so many people enjoying their gardens more in uncertain times, with these spaces providing fantastic mental and physical boosts. It’s also a good time to be making changes so that we’re all using water more wisely in the garden.

“The whole family can enjoy Lee’s gardening activity suggestions. We hope they get people thinking about how much fun they can have in the garden while also considering the environmental effects of water usage.”