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Being a part of a professional body such as the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) means an obligation, as a company, to keep up to date with training and knowledge important to our industry.

Recently we improved our knowledge and offering to our customers by completing a certificate in water conservation. This is a fantastic opportunity to upgrade our knowledge in this department and be able to advise our customers should this be of interest when planning their landscaping project.

Did you know?

An average house roof can collect 21,000 litres of water every year! A fantastic reason to use water butts.

Well positioned ponds and lakes can be a great source for stored rainwater that can be re-used on the garden. However, be mindful that they are important wildlife habitats so limit amount of water taken at any one time.

Tips to conserve water:

  • Use permeable surfaces for hard landscaping or install adequate drainage to cope with surface water run off and re-direct into planters/ borders.
  • Harvest rainwater into underground water tanks that can be pumped out and re-used (this needs to be thought about way ahead of planning the landscaping project).
  • Hose pipes should be fitted with trigger guns to conserve water.
  • Drip irrigation systems are efficient but if connected to a tap fit pressure reducers and timers.
  • Water features should be designed to use non-potable water and be self-sustaining.

What should your landscaper consider when planning a project with water conservation in mind?

  • Plan the site to make maximum use of rainfall
  • Consider harvesting and storing rain water
  • Use existing boreholes
  • Limit use of tap water
  • Consider soil type – clay rich soil = moisture retentive vs free draining soils = sandy & can dry out quickly
  • When looking at planting schemes select plants that will thrive in specific locations
  • Local climate
  • How does water naturally behave on site (where does it run to and collect)
  • What does the client want and how important is water conservation to them!

Advice – Think before you water!

Once a project is completed here is some basic water conservation advice for clients:

  • Don’t water when rain is forecast or if soil is still moist a trowel depth down
  • Don’t water in the middle of the day
  • Established plants, trees and turf generally don’t need extra watering
  • Heavy clay soils don’t need as much watering as fast draining sandy soils
  • Areas protected from wind or in shade need less water
  • Regularly maintain irrigation equipment (if using)
  • Rotate well used playing areas regularly to reduce compaction
  • Newly laid turf only needs to be kept moist for 28 days

Always discuss your landscaping needs and anything that will impact the design or plan such as water conservation at the planning stage.

Information on the APL and finding a local APL registered landscaper visit: http://www.landscaper.org.uk/find-your-landscaper

Information on water conservation in the home and more advice:

http://www.waterwise.org.uk/pages/water-saving-advice-and-tips.html

http://www.how-to-save-water.co.uk

http://everylastdrop.co.uk

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