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Keeping your garden green in drought conditions

Many of us are feeling the effects of the longest heatwave to hit the country since 1976. Weeks of glorious sunshine and record temperatures make a welcome change to the usual English summer, however the weather is starting to take its toll on our gardens and green spaces.

There’s no doubt that a hosepipe ban could be on its way in Surrey and Sussex. On 5th August, people in the North West of England will be the first to be affected. Those caught using hosepipes or sprinklers in their gardens could face a hefty fine. And it’s likely that the South of England will soon follow suit.

If you’ve been desperately trying to keep your plants and lawn watered with a sprinkler, you’re probably dreading the prospect of a hosepipe ban. At D.W. Nye we’ve been helping our customers to create garden that stay green all-year round.

Here are our tips for dealing with the drought:

Mulch after watering

One of the immediate steps you can take to minimise the damage to your plants caused by the weather is to protect the soil with a layer of mulch. Biodegradable mulch made of wood chippings, compost or leaf mould forms a protective barrier over soil helping to retain moisture and protect plant roots from the heat. Mulch also helps to create neat, decorative garden beds whilst keeping moisture-absorbing weeds at bay.


It may sound rather last-century however the humble garden bucket might become your greatest tool. The hosepipe ban doesn’t prevent people from watering the garden using a bucket or watering can. When water supplies are under pressure it’s a good idea to ‘re-use’ water wherever possible. Known as grey water, old bath or sink water is fine to use in the garden as long as it doesn’t contain bleach or other harsh chemicals.

Water right

It is more effective to drench scorched lawns once or twice a week as opposed to a light sprinkling every day. The best time to water is early morning to limit evaporation. Avoid putting fertiliser on your soil or grass as it is unable to absorb nutrients in hot weather, and left in the sun will cause the ground to burn. When mowing the lawn, keep the blade setting higher as short grass will dry out quicker.

Be prepared

Record temperatures are often followed by summer storms. When these hit, it’s best to be prepared to catch as much rainwater as possible by attaching more than one water butt to downpipes and guttering. Top tip – check all guttering is clear to ensure blockages won’t cause rainwater to spill out elsewhere.

Go artificial

One way to guarantee your garden looks fresh and green no matter what the weather is to replace your lawn with artificial grass. At D.W. Nye, we stock Valour and Fame artificial grass and if you haven’t seen these products up close, it’s well worth checking them out at our depot. Lots of our customers comment on how realistic they look. Available in 4-metre rolls and guaranteed to last, artificial grass is great value for money.

If you’re concerned about keeping your garden flourishing in this weather, our knowledgeable team are on hand at our depot in Kingsfold to offer guidance. We might even treat you to a glass of water!