Jason Pike, national sales manager at Bord na Mona UK advises on what products growers can use to conserve water.
With a hosepipe ban on the horizon, gardeners are seeking out ways to keep their outdoor spaces looking healthy.
Jason says: ?Conserving water should always be a high priority. But we certainly think about it more when a hosepipe ban is being threatened.
“Though watering is essential for ensuring healthy plant growth, there are several products growers can use? that will help keep plants hydrated, however sparingly they water.
“For those potting up plants in tubs, baskets or growing bags, use Bord na Mona Growise Water Retaining Gel Crystals (250g) as they absorb up to 400 times their own weight in water.
“Mix the crystals thoroughly through the compost and then plant up; water well and then repeat a few hours later.
“The crystals are proven to reduce the need for watering during hot spells from every other day to just once a week.”
Compost is also really important in hot weather. Adding even a thin layer to bare soil will act as a barrier against soil moisture evaporation. This reduces the plants’ need for water.
“Use compost with a wetting agent, as it will help ensure easy and even wetting-up when watering.
“Bord na Mona Growise Multipurpose Compost and Bord na Mona Growise Pro 5 All Purpose Compost are ideal for use with both indoor and outdoor plants. It is also good for sowing seeds, rooting cuttings and filling pots, hanging baskets and tubs.
Mulch will also provide a vital barrier against soil moisture evaporation, and will help keep the soil cool.
“Bord na Mona Growise Chunky Chip Bark is a premium grade, natural bark that lasts much longer than regular barks. It is also highly decorative and will provide an attractive finish to beds and borders. It is also suitable for play areas.
“Finally, naturally occurring substances in seaweed such as Mannitol and Betaines are known to enable plants to cope better physiologically with less water, so use a fertiliser that contains seaweed such as Bord na Mona Growise Pro 5 All Purpose Fertiliser.?