Rainwater crucial for bumper crop of summer vegetables

The use of a sheet of corrugated plastic to catch rainwater might not be aesthetically pleasing, but it offers a more eco-friendly solution to summer drought than the tap, according to the Guardians Dan Pearson.

Writing in the newspaper on Sunday (July 14th), Mr Pearson lamented the fact that many vegetable growers do not have ready access to water – which he insists, quite rightly, is the "single most important thing you need to get right in the garden in the summer months".

As such, he has taken to trapping rainwater in an old water tank through the use of a sheet of corrugated plastic.

However, Mr Pearson goes on to say that by watering less gardeners can encourage the roots of their crops to burrow further down into the ground to seek out moisture, which is beneficial in the long run as subsequent watering will be more effective.

This, Mr Pearson says, is one of the "main secrets of water conservation" – and will make any harvested water go further.

Applying mulch around the crowns of vegetables will also help with growth.

Water could also be secured by making use of the run-off from a greenhouse – be it a standard greenhouse, an aluminium greenhouse or a wooden greenhouse.