BOB FLOWERDEW

Some very in­ven­tive ways to store more wa­ter

Amateur Gardening - - This Week In Gardening -

HERE’S how to make your plants hap­pier – and maybe save some cash as well. We could all store a lit­tle more rain­wa­ter than we do now. Plas­tic butts are not ex­pen­sive and by just stand­ing another be­side an ex­ist­ing one you’ve dou­bled up straight­away.

Two butts could also sup­port a shelf of plants be­tween them and be dou­bly use­ful, then you could fit a third…

Of course the prob­lem is you’ll even­tu­ally run out of space. The an­swer is to con­nect the butt plumbed in to the down­pipe to oth­ers hid­den some­where out of the way, and you can do this with a siphon: a hosepipe weighted and hung down to the bot­tom in each butt which, once filled with wa­ter, keeps the level in both butts the same.

Then there are those odd roofs – from the bike shed to the dog ken­nel – which may have runoff go­ing to waste. Fit gut­ters with wa­ter butts to each of these and you’ll col­lect even more rain.

There are many cheaper al­ter­na­tives to butts such as re­cy­cled juice con­tain­ers and dead chest freez­ers. I’ve even seen a row of wheel-less wheelie bins all linked to­gether.

The whole point is get those gut­ters, butts and bar­rels fit­ted now so they can start sav­ing the com­ing win­ter rain till your gar­den needs it next year. Then your plants roots will much pre­fer rain­wa­ter from butts to that from a hose con­nected to a tap as it’s free of chlo­rine and so much warmer.

So not only will your plants be hap­pier, but if you’re on a wa­ter me­ter you’ll save a lit­tle cash, and maybe more than you think.

Re­mem­ber you not only pay for the wa­ter you use but most house­holds also pay a sewage and drainage rate – and that’s usu­ally based on your wa­ter us­age. So use less from the hose and you save not once, but twice.

“Get those gut­ters, butts and bar­rels fit­ted now”

You may not want to go to the same lengths as Bob to store rain­wa­ter… … but you can in­crease ca­pac­ity by link­ing wa­ter butts

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