Hosepipe ban slapped on UK gardeners

As all garden and greenhouse enthusiasts know, the majority of plants grown in Britain require a decent amount of water.

However, the driest start to a year on record has seen a hosepipe ban slapped on the north-west – the first in the region for 14 years.

The embargo, which began this morning (July 9th) at 06:00, could cause havoc with gardeners.

A 2001 Environment Agency report revealed that while outdoor activities such as gardening and washing cars normally account for six per cent of the UKs domestic water use, it jumps to 70 per cent during summer.

To help growers deal with the ban, Amateur Gardening magazine editor Kris Collins has recommended a useful product.

"If you have any pots or hanging baskets or containers, you can buy water retaining crystals or gels," he said.

"They are in powder form when you buy them and you put them in the compost."

Mr Collins added that the crystals swell up after watering and can hold the liquid for weeks.