Water worth saving
With summer now upon us, Yorkshire Water is offering a helping hand with all those jobs you've been putting off around the home and garden by offering customers the chance to win Â£1,000 of DIY vouchers, with Â£30 vouchers for 50 runners-up.
Just visit www.yorkshirewater.com/whatwedo and enter your details for automatic entry into the prize draw.
Everyone entering will receive a free water saving pack for the home. This includes tap inserts to aerate and reduce the flow of water; a Flushsaver bag to save water when you flush the toilet; a four-minute shower timer; and a ShowerSave insert to regulate the shower’s water flow.
Yorkshire Water is committed to helping households save money both indoors and out and offers the following tips for reducing water usage in the garden.
Group plants according to water need so you don’t waste water on drought-tolerant plants.
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Plant more perennials and shrubs. In most cases, the larger the root system the less dependent they are on watering.
Use one to three inches of a mulch such as wood chips or pine needles to keep the soil cooler, reduce evaporation and conserve moisture.
Use compost to loosen clay soils and make sandy soils more fertile and moist.
Don’t cut your grass too short: the deeper the roots and the more shade they have, the longer they hold moisture.
Check the soil a spade depth down and only water if dry. It’s harder to judge the moisture content of your soil in a clay or sandy area but if you watch your plants and check how the soil looks and feels when they start to show signs of water stress, you will know when to water.
Water your garden early in the morning or in the evening when it is cooler, to reduce evaporation.
Use a watering can instead of a hosepipe, as a hosepipe uses enough water to fill two 10-litre watering cans every minute.
Take advantage of Yorkshire Water’s buy one, get one half-price offer on water butts to collect rainwater and grey water from baths, showers and washing machines.
If you’ve got kids, there are plenty of fun ways to get them enjoying the garden and helping save water.
Make colourful water catchers from old plastic bottles to measure rainfall; buy some small watering cans so they can help with watering the plants; allocate them their own patch of the garden to grow vegetables, such as tomatoes or carrots; and create your own bird bath and monitor which species of bird are enjoying a dip.
It’s not just in the garden you can save water: cutting usage in the home can reduce bills, too. So, make sure you only boil exactly the amount you need in your kettle; use just enough water to cover vegetables when cooking; use a lower heat setting and shorter cycle when washing clothes; and switch to a water-efficient shower head. A family of four could save about £65 from their gas bills and up to £100 off water bills (if they’re on a water meter) by making the switch from an inefficient shower head.