Scotland escapes a hosepipe ban ... but could Ireland set a trend?

Why not use a watering can, says Scottish Water.
Why not use a watering can, says Scottish Water.

With no end in sight to the hot weather this weekend gardeners are being urged to use watering cans - and not wasteful hosepipes.

There’s no threat of restrictions just yet, but Northern Ireland brought in an indefinite hosepipe ban on June 29 - and a ban across the whole of the Republic of Ireland began today.

The Irish Times says the country is officially in a state of “absolute drought”, with zero rainfall at 24 out of 25 weather stations for the past fortnight.

From this morning Irish Water extended a hosepipe ban from the Greater Dublin area to the whole country.

That could give some Scottish gardeners pause for thought as they use a commodity the country typically has in conspicuous abundance.

Scottish Water says a sprinkler left on for an hour is the same as six times a person’s average daily water use.

Average reservoir levels are said to be generally normal for this time of year, but are steadily reducing as the hot weather continues.

Louise Golden, resident gardening expert and senior plant buyer at Dobbies Garden Centres, says gardeners could follow a few simple tips to continue to care for their plants and flowers while using water wisely.

Water in the evening so plants have time to drink up before the heat of the following day - and direct the water to base of plants rather than the top to ensure it gets where needed.

Mow the lawn less frequently and raise the blade height to reduce the stress on the grass – remember established lawns that turn brown usually turn green again when rain returns

Move potted plants into the shade for periods of the day - for beds and borders in very hot weather create shade using an umbrella

Add water retaining gel to the compost of patio pots when planting - it will reduce watering requirements.

Established border plants should have a good root system able to reach moisture deeper in the ground - so focus attention on new or shallow rooting plants which will be under greater stress

Stand container grown plants on saucers of water.

Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “By encouraging simple but important changes to how people use water during the warm weather like the summer we’re enjoying currently, this will make a big difference to the flow of water around the network and protect supplies.”