The Royal Horticultural Society reveals why you should never water your lawn

Tips to water your garden responsibly and effectively

Water UK and RHS watering advice for the heatwave might surprise you. With the mercury expected to rise to 30 plus degrees, the Royal Horticultural Society has shared their tips for watering the garden, including why you should never water your lawn.

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When it comes to watering the garden, it isn't just a matter of splashing a garden hose around and calling it a day. During a heatwave, using water irresponsibility is not only bad for the environment, but can lead to problems with your water pressure.

During the dry weather in May, Water UK saw a huge surge in demand for water in the evenings, 40 per cent higher than normal for the time of year. The demand let to reductions in water pressures in some areas of the UK.

water tap with pipe

(Image credit: Ti-Media)

Janet Manning, RHS water management specialist, has shared her tips for how to conserve water when watering your garden during a heat wave.

RHS watering advice

1. Don't water your lawn

During dry spells when the grass is starting to look a bit crispy and brown it can be tempting to give it a good water. However, you'd be better of saving the water.

'Lawns are tough, and you may be surprised at how quickly they bounce back after rainfall,' explains Janet.

2. Install a water butt

These are great for collecting rainwater for watering the plants. 'Keep an eye on the weather forecast, and with potential rain approaching, install water butts or clean out your existing water butts ready to collect the rain,' advises Janet.

garden area with plants and watering can

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

3. Switch to watering in the morning

Domestic water use usually peaks in the early evening. Watering in the morning will ease the demand later in the day.

'This will also help provide the water that plants will draw on through the day, and will avoid it just draining away at night,' says Janet.

4. Swap a hose for a watering can

watering can with garden area

(Image credit: Future PLC/Adam Wallis)

Hoses use an incredible amount of water. One hour's use is equal to the average water supply for a family of four for two days.

Using a bucket or watering can will help control the amont of water used. The slower water flow will also mean more water will stay in the pot, than running out the bottom.

5. Train your plants to use water more slowly

'Using less water will actually encourage the plants to drink less,' says Janet. 'In essence, if you keep the glass half full, your plants will adapt and learn to drink more slowly.'

'We all want to enjoy our gardens and keep our plants healthy. But as we look forward to another period of sunny weather, it's good for us all to be aware of the water we're using and work together to use it wisely,' says Water UK chief executive Christine McGourty.

Related: Five simple steps to help protect gardens during the hot weather

'It everyone uses water carefully, cutting back a little where they can by using a watering can, instead of a sprinkler for example, that makes a big difference.'

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.