The recent heatwave across the United Kingdom has been a mixed blessing for most Brits. Whilst the chance to bask in some serious sunlight has not been unwelcome, the impact the weather has had on nature has had graver consequences. The most newsworthy of these was the damage caused to many vegetable crops
which, as a result, have struggled to meet increased consumer demand, leading to an overall shortage of produce. This could have a knock-on effect into the rest of the year’s vegetable yield, impacting lettuce, cauliflower, and broccoli.
However, as temperatures soared into the mid-thirties, there was also a recurring threat of a dreaded hosepipe ban, making it difficult to keep gardens tended and plants watered adequately during the drought. One was enforced in Northern Ireland at the end of June, shortly before the heatwave’s peak, and while an all-out ban was not put into place across the rest of the Great Britain, the extremely high temperatures left at least one firm asking for additional water
from other regions.
With that in mind, keeping your garden green in such punishing weather conditions could seem impossible. Fortunately, there is a solution: garden irrigation systems
. At Water Butts Direct, we offer a range of products which can keep your garden looking fresh as a daisy, even at the height of summer. But how does garden irrigation work, and what are the benefits during a heatwave?
How do garden irrigation systems work?
In agriculture, irrigation is the process which keeps crops supplied with water in any conditions, whether via a network of underground tubes which pump water, or a series of sprinklers, amongst other methods. A garden irrigation system simply does this on a much smaller scale, and there are an ever-growing number of domestic garden irrigation options available.
Garden irrigation systems such as water drippers can be connected to hose pipes or an alternative source, providing a small but constant supply of water to plants. They can be installed beneath the ground or connected directly to your plant pots and lawn through a series of interconnecting hoses and drippers.
How is garden irrigation beneficial during a heatwave?
Sprinklers are one of the most commonly-used methods of irrigation in the country’s gardens. However, since they need to be hooked up to your home’s main water supply, they can’t be counted on as a reliable option in the event of a nationwide water shortage.
One of the major benefits of home irrigation—particularly during a heatwave—is that it gives you the ability to collect water from various sources to use at a later date. This means that you won’t be contravening a hosepipe ban, and allows you to conserve water during a drought. This water can be collected and recycled from a number of sources, from rainfall to old cooking or dishwater.
Conserving this in a home reservoir or water butt enables you to have a constant, sustainable source of water for your garden which won’t be impacted in the event of a water shortage. This stored water can then be harnessed by your home irrigation system, which can be set up on your lawn and within your flower beds and activated via a timer to provide your garden with the water it needs.
How can a garden irrigation system keep your plants alive in a heatwave?
According to recent research from the American Chemical Society, plants don’t really get sunburn
, and actually “produce special molecules...to protect themselves”. The main cause of damage to plants during hot weather comes from dried soil and not being given enough water. However, there are certain times of day which are better for watering plants
than others—namely the early evening, when greenery has “enough time to dry out, but there is still the chance for overnight water uptake”.
This is where garden irrigation can be the ideal solution, providing water either in a constant low stream or through a timer which can be adjusted to suit the conditions of your garden. With an irrigation system set to activate in the (relatively) cool early evenings, you’ll be doing all you can to protect your plants from sweltering heat.
Explore our collection of garden irrigation systems here.