Are you overwatering your lawn?

Lawn experts are calling for a stop to an overwatering of gardens as they estimate that at least £23 million was spent unnecessarily during one week in the heatwave this summer alone.

There are approximately 23 million gardens in the UK and the cost of watering the average sized garden is a just over £1, but experts at GreenThumb are concerned that during the recent heatwave we were watering our lawns one too many times, resulting in a gigantic UK wide bill.

Lawn Guru, Steve Taylor, said: “It’s natural that during extreme hot weather you think that your lawn needs a good soaking more than once a week, but that’s not the case. We recommend a single application and a timed approach. If you can water your lawn for about 20 minutes, when the sun’s going down in the evening, that will maximise results.”

Steve’s advice will come as welcome news for many as less water usage means lower water bills, which can only be good news during the current cost of living crisis. But you could be saving money and the planet if you just had a water butt. If every household, in England alone, collected just one water butt’s worth of water a year, that’s 160 litres, it would collectively save four billion litres of mains water every year.

In addition, Steve warns that overwatering may possibly lead to health issues for your lawn. “Overwatering starves the soil of the air it needs and can make it more susceptible to diseases, which isn’t what Brits want as we head into our much-loved BBQ season.”

He also has a couple of hacks to ensure you spend even less watering your lawn.

“The Oasis treatment, we’ve developed at GreenThumb, means you can reduce watering your lawn by up to 80%. So, if you’re harvesting rainwater or ‘grey’ water, which is the most sustainable way to protect your garden, keeping your lawn hydrated should be costing you next to nothing.

“We’re forecast rain this week, so – if you don’t have a water butt – place some buckets or watering cans in your garden and collect the rain. Leave them to one side, in the shade, and once the hot weather returns you can give your lawn a free shower.

“It sounds unnecessary but it’s such a simple trick that can save you money and you’ll be thankful when you see your next water bill.”

Top tips

Many of us enjoy long warm summers but low rainfall means we need to conserve water where possible.

Specifically, in dry weather, our lawns need to be watered to survive. The longer your lawn is left without water, the more water it’ll need to recover it (if it’s salvageable!) as they are usually the thirstiest part of a garden.

Although we often take it for granted, we all know that water is a precious resource. So when it comes to maintaining our gardens, it’s vital that we learn to be water-wise and conserve as much as possible.

•    Let the grass grow longer in dry spells – do not cut any shorter than 50mm (2’’). This will keep moisture in the soil and will help when the rain comes.

•    The most efficient time to irrigate is between sunset and sunrise due to less evaporation, less wind, and lower temperatures. Early morning is the next most efficient time to irrigate; watering in the middle of the day is not advised due to the amount of evaporation taking place at this point in the day.

•    Avoid runoff – If you apply water faster than the lawn can absorb it, the water runs off into oblivion. That’s wasteful, so don’t do that. Instead, water in short intervals of about 20 minutes, turn off the water (or move the sprinkler) to let the water soak in, and then turn the sprinkler back on for another 20 minutes.

•    The other method is to remove thatch, a layer that builds up near the surface of a lawn and dramatically slows water penetration.

•    Install a water butt – you can collect your rainwater and use this on your lawn and plants.

•    Make use of greywater in the garden.

•    Healthy composted soil will keep moisture and nutrients.

A water butt


For more information on keeping your garden lush this summer or for professional help with your lawn treatments visit: https://www.greenthumb.co.uk/

For more about the National Garden Scheme and GreenThumb click here.

For more tips on saving water in the home and garden from WWT click here.

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