Thursday, 31 May 2007


Have you noticed that plants slow down their growth in really dry weather? The man on the donkey has, and he has a theory behind the phenomenon. He reckons that weeds are particularly good at conserving energy when a drought occurs like the one we had last week. Unlike your favourite petunias, which will wither and die if not watered, weeds just send the available water to the small new growth areas and sit tight for a drop of rain. I will agree wholeheartedly with the man on the donkey because weeds are so successful (and because the man on the donkey is very rarely wrong!). Take the daisy for example; they can drive some people crazy when they get into the lawn. I’ll bet the humble daisy would still be there long after the grass had died off. Grass is very, very drought resistant though and we are luckier than some areas that are issuing drought warnings and banning the use of hosepipes, but grass doesn’t really need to be watered as the greenness will come back as soon as the rain appears. The fact that plants more or less close down in hot, dry weather will make the use of weed killers totally useless as most of them rely on the activity of the plant to work. The man on the donkey advises you to save your money and not buy weed killers in dry weather

There are things we can do to save water in the garden to avoid getting into trouble with the water police. Use plenty of mulch on the flowerbeds to conserve moisture. Get water butts fitted to the down pipes on the house to collect rainwater and reuse water from the washing up bowls to water the tubs and containers as well as the veggie patch.


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