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Water Butts and Irrigation

Honestly a lot of the herbs we grow are going to thrive in dry conditions, once mature. When they are seedlings they will need lots of love and the right level of watering.

We choose not to use tap water for two main reasons.

  1. We are on a meter, like so many others and we literally pay for every drop that we use.
  2. We prefer untreated water on our plants. Rainwater is so much better for your herbs to grow as it does not contain and unnecessary extras!

What Butt Is The Right Butt?

Well realistically you want one which suits your home needs. So a decent size. We have a 250L Super Space Saver Water Butt. Be careful when choosing your water butt as the cheaper ones can be surprisingly small and do not come with all of the kits to connect it up. You may to buy a few extra accessories with this as well, but check what you need.

If you have a tight spot or want to get a different look to your butt then check out water butts direct who have ones that look like Greek Urns and are planters as well! So you can keep the water butts scattered around the garden, outside of a summer house, but it can be discrete rather than utilitarian. Sometimes it does pay to go to a specialist!

Fitting Your Water Butt

So what you get with the one above is the down pipe interrupter – we had to saw our down pipe to the height and then lock it in place. Quite easy to do and only take a few minutes, just be careful if you are taking the down pipe from the wall that you don’t disturb the brackets that keep it to the wall. You can do it whilst it is still secure in place.

Very much not suitable for lead down pipes I’m afraid!

The tap needs to be fitted as it comes separately. So push it through and use your extra long arms (crawl inside) to tighten the plastic washer. Hand tight it good enough – make sure you do not cross thread it though as it is the devil to un-thread and get right again.

Sometimes as right is tight, turn it a little left and it sits inline a lot better then spin it to the right. Make sure that the tap is square on the butt as that helps a lot too!

Then position it on the stand, test with your watering can that it fits in underneath it nicely.

Get it to the right orientation that the stand and butt can work well together with the down pipe flexi hose. You don’t want it to bend around tightly as that will get in the way of water flow.

Once it is all sorted you can then attached that flexipipe. Do it in the same way as the tap, but as it is at the top, no need to crawl inside!

The dimensions for ours are a metre high, but when on the stand it is higher, so we keep the lid on locked. This is to stop birds accidentally flying in as I wouldn’t necessarily see them!

Once you have one fitted and you are happy with it you can then tap from one to another! That is a good place to be with the British weather being so unpredictable.

Watering Cans and Misters

You will need a good watering can and a smaller one for the windowsill garden you are creating. You will also need a mister. We have the most snazziest of misters and watering cans, but you just need one that is low pressure. The main thing is that you are not disturbing the seedlings when you mist the soil. It is also key to have an indoor watering can that is capable of watering to the base of the plant and not the leaves.

Passive Watering Systems

This is one of those areas that people don’t look at. You may think that because you are not planning on leaving your plants, or a neighbour will water them.

However most of the problems that people write to us about are around over watering. So a passive watering system is one where you can water and leave it to do it’s thing.

passive watering system with baby pepper plants in.
this is ours just after I planted up some peppers.

Greenhouse Sensation have an excellent online store where you can purchase many different self-watering solutions. We use them a lot and love their range and the products are British made which means a lower impact on carbon emissions. The planters above will last us our entire lifetime as well, so sturdy construction. Unless one of the kids really has their heart set on destruction, then nothing seems to last a lifetime!

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