Drought Tips

In the face of the impending and in some cases existing drought measures in place we have put together what we hope will be some helpful hints to help you keep your garden looking fresh.

There are various exemptions and it is worth contacting your water provider or looking at their website if you are unsure.

Our main message would be to avoid having to water if you can but if you have to, use it wisely; this can be achieved through some of the following measures.

Location / suitability

  • Position of plants – a shrub in an oasis of bed will struggle. Planting more densely will create shade and reduce evaporation (see watering below)
  • Choice of plants – are they deep rooting, shallow rooting, in shade full sun etc. Make sure it is in the right place for that type of plant.
  • Is there too much competition for available water? Are there tree roots nearby?


  • Please mulch your garden! A bed mulched with a 5-7cm deep layer of rotted organic matter, bark mulch, leaf mould etc will keep water in a bed up to 8 weeks longer than without .
  • We sell bark mulch delivered by the cubic metre – at 5cm depth a cubic metre of bark will cover 20m2. We also have bagged bark mulch – a 75 litre bag will cover 1.5m2.
  • For trees, we sell wool and ‘felt’ mulch mats to go around their base – the felt ones are impermeable, so make sure the ground is wet before applying


  • Thames Water will allow the use of trickle or drip irrigation provided your garden tap has a pressure reducer and a timer fitted. There is direct control with this over the water that is being applied through trickle irrigation. All our Plant Centre staff can guide you through what you will need to get your hedge or new border off to a good start- all of the fittings are available in our shop.
  • We can also supply all the fittings to water your pots – the spaghetti type. It’s simpler than you think!
  • Trees – don’t shy away from planting them, as they are such a worthwhile investment. We have 14 litre buckets for sale (£4.95 each) with four small holes drilled in the bottom – fill it up and it will percolate slowly into the soil right where you want it. Easy. Yes you have to fill it up with a watering can, but a small price to pay!
  • Water butts, water pumps, special ‘leaky’ hose, watering cans, pipe fittings – all are available in the Plant Centre at Nicholsons.

If you do fit any drip irrigation be sure to mulch over the top to conserve what you have just applied!


  • Grass – don’t bother trying to water it. You can do more harm than good and it will beg the question how it got watered… There is talk that watering fresh turf is permitted – but consult your water provider before booking turf. Sprinklers use a staggering amount of water.
  • Keep it as long as possible to create more shade in the thatch

See also our Planting and Watering guidelines available in printed form or on our website. We are also happy to advise and quote on any garden irrigation jobs. If you would like further information, please don’t hesitate to Contact us. Also, see our other specialised advice pages linked from theInformation main menu.


We have a wide range of trees and hedges in stock, if you would like to discuss an order, please contact us.

  •    01869 340342 (Option 1)