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The hosepipe ban – things you need to know

Do you understand the hosepipe ban? I suppose the real question is: who does? Temperatures have been soaring and explaining the rules around what you can and can’t use a hosepipe for can be difficult to explain to a small child, especially when you don’t understand the restrictions yourself.

We recently under took some research with shocking results. Almost half (43%) of Brits will break the hosepipe ban this summer. The biggest reason to break the ban was identified as watering vegetable patches (36%), while a further 7% of people stated that they would break the hosepipe ban because they think it’s “pointless.”

Image: Pinterest

The truth is, most people don’t know if what they are doing is actually in breech of the ban or not. Rumours of hosepipe hot-lines to grass on your neighbours, resulting in them paying a £1000 fine have done the rounds, but Nick Ellins of policy body, Water UK says that he’s never actually heard of any prosecutions. The ban is in place not to be policed, but to change how we think about water – take a shorter shower perhaps.

The good news is that there’s no reason why you shouldn’t fill up your kids paddling pool, but you must use a container not a hose. Hosepipes are often left to run on – wasting water – if you have to carry buckets to fill something you’re less likely to waste water.

Image: Pinterest

To make things simple here’s a simple list of the dos and don’ts

The hosepipe ban no-nos

  • Using a hose, sprinkler or other irrigation system to water your garden (but drip or trickle irrigation systems are allowed)
  • Cleaning a private vehicle (cars, boats, etc.) using a hosepipe
  • Watering plants on domestic premises
  • Filling or maintain a swimming, paddling pool or fountain
  • Recreational use (fun) – the ban is especially upsetting for the under 10s
  • Cleaning walls, windows, patios, paths, garden furniture or any other outdoor artificial surface

The hosepipe ban cheats (what you can do)

  • A hosepipe CAN be used if it is connected to a grey water system or if it uses water collected from rainfall
  • Disabled people can water plants using a hosepipe if they are blue badge holders – invite granny round for tea!
  • Topping up a domestic pond if the welfare of fish in the pond are at risk
  • Filling feeding troughs for animals
  • Filling a water tank on a canal boat or caravan

Source of dos and dont’s: Guardian

FYI: a hosepipe includes anything designed, adapted or used for the same purpose as a hosepipe.

For those of you who are struggling to stick to the ban (43% of you), here’s some advice to keep your garden growing this summer from gardener, Toby Buckland.

1. Instead of a conventional hosepipe that squirts water out of the end, I use ‘leaky hoses’ that weep moisture on to the soil through the porous walls of the pipe. Snaked amongst plants in a border or alongside rows of veg they gently irrigate without wasting a drop on the leaves. Like a normal hose you plug the onto an outside tap but because the flow-rate is so slow most water companies have made them exempt from the ban.

2. If you are unlucky and leaky hoses are a no-no all is not lost – look to ‘drip-line’ or micro irrigation systems that are pressure regulated and deliver even more controlled amounts of water and both Hozelock and Gardena sell good systems.

3. While you dig your hole soak root-balls in a bucket to saturate the compost. Fork in a few handfuls of soil-improver to the bottom of the hole and fill with water. When this has soaked away, apply mychorrizal Planting Powder to the roots before setting your plant in the ground. Water again to settle the soil around the roots then spread a mulch of compost or bark over soil to shade and lock in the precious moisture.

To find a gardener in your local area who can help you tackle this summer’s drought post your job on RatedPeople.com. We’ll put you in contact with up to three tradesmen, you get a quote from each, read their ratings and pick the one that you most prefer. Happy gardening! 

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