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How much water does watering need?

I have a big garden... .5acre... And I was thinking it would be great to collect rain for watering as we're on a water meter. But when I started doing maths I'm less sure.
I just planted borders around a new 10x6m lawn and am watering heavily, maybe 100-200l per day. My water supplier charge £1.28 per cubic meter so that's maybe 2 quid a week. 
I can buy a big water butt for £60 plus fittings so perhaps it pays for itself in a year or two. BUT that's a 200L tank so when I'm planting new things or watering in a drought, it'll last a few days only.

Is water so cheap in the UK that it's not really financially worth doing any of this, beyond environmental reasons and self satisfaction? I'm sure I can get a much bigger tank but then is the cost prohibitive?!


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,703
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,703
    Rainwater is useful for ericaceous plants in pots.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • Mr. Vine EyeMr. Vine Eye Posts: 1,005
    I've got a small garden, about 8x8m roughly. I bought a 100L water butt from Aldi. It's useful at this time of year. I haven't had to use any tap water in the garden yet.

    But, with last years droughty summer, it ran low very quickly as we went weeks with no rain. So I just saved it for use on my camellia and had to resort to using the tap for everything else.

    With a garden your size, you'd need many many water butts.

    Why are you having to water heavily every day? Wouldn't weekly be enough for new plants if it's dry at the moment?

    Even in the height of summer I tried to leave a day or two between waterings.

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 2,114

    There are a number of issues with watering - obviously, the cost, but also in a drought it just isn't fair to use up water that may be needed for really important things. Then there may be a hosepipe ban. To water with rainwater you would need a small reservoir in which you were able to collect rainwater all winter, to keep five acres going; some farmers do this for their greater needs. My garden is three quarters of an acre, much smaller than yours and I have four water butts. They only last a few days when drought hits.

    Most gardeners water selectively to keep things going and you can use 'grey' water when it's desperate, but there isn't an easy answer.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 64,443
    I’m confused ... in February you had a half-acre garden ... how did you stretch it to five acres?  Let me know ... I have plants in pots that I don’t have room for ... yet 🤣 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen SpainPosts: 3,801
    There’a a . before the 5 Dove  :)
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 7,049
    More coffee Dove ! I'll admit it's not easy to see though.  :)
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 1,435
    You can buy a 1000 litre tank for £60 which is a bit more economical. They are recycled food grade palletised containers so not the prettiest things but they can be hidden behind sheds, trellis or even camouflage netting. You might still need traditional water butts to collect from your roof then pump them into the larger container which adds cost and complexity. No free lunch there I'm afraid but if you have the room they are very useful.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 64,443
    Nollie said:
    There’a a . before the 5 Dove  :)
    🙄  and there I was thinking someone had the answer to my prayers ... ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ ☕️ 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • steephillsteephill Posts: 1,435
    A bit more on the economics - don't forget that water suppliers also charge you to take the water away again. Mine supplies at a similar price to your's but add in the sewerage charge and it costs £2.23 a cu.m., so about £100 a year for mains watering. A water butt should last at least 10 years so would only cost you £6 a year.That looks like a no-brainer to me.
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