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Out in the Garden: Keeping your garden watered while on holiday

By Spalding Today Columnist

It’s July and the sun should be shining and the evenings should be warm and the wine should be flowing. In a few short weeks the schools will be breaking up for their holidays and it will mark the beginning of the great British get away.

It is a good idea to irrigate your garden while you are away (13286863)
It is a good idea to irrigate your garden while you are away (13286863)

I for one don’t want to enjoy my few weeks in the sun to return home and discover that my garden resembles a scene from the Lion King. We all know that when we go away the weather back home will be scorching.

With a little planning and investment you can reduce the chances of starring in a Born Free documentary after returning home.

The key to the whole thing is irrigation, the process of applying water to the soil which allows your plants to absorb nutrients from the earth and grow into healthy plants. Without water the plant becomes dehydrated, wilts and dies.

A simple solution to irrigating your plants whilst you’re away is to simply ask a next door neighbour to water your garden for you under the promise of maybe a bottle or two of Sangria. However, that might not be possible for any number of reasons.

In recent years, the cost of automatic irrigation systems has tumbled in price, and the biggest advantage of an automated system is that it requires no human intervention.

So what to choose for your budget and requirements? Well without wanting to run the risk of banging the Baytree drum, your best bet is not to consult the internet but to speak to a real human being such as Dean at Baytree.Speaking to an expert can help you not only save money but also save time when connecting the system together.

In my garden I know that there are two main areas that are pretty much in full sun all day long. They are my main lawn and the patio area where I grow flowers and herbs in small containers.These two zones need the most help from drying out.

After taking advice I opted for a Gardena Flex system which was a little under £40. It consists of an electronic timer which connects to your outside tap into which your hosepipe connects. On the other end of the hosepipe I have attached a sprinkler which oscillates from side to side, covering the lawn with an even coverage of water. A great benefit of using one with a timer is I can set the system to water at night when risk of evaporation is greatly reduced.

My solution for irrigating my herbs and container plants is decidedly low tech. For the price of a couple of sandwiches you can invest in a pack of water spikes. They have a thread on one end and a small hole in the other. You simply take an empty plastic bottle, fill it with water, screw the water spike on top and plunge it into the soil in your containers. The hole in the spike then gently releases the water into the soil over a number of days.

All you’ve got to do now is enjoy your holiday.


Here comes the plumb king


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