No ifs, no buts - water butts save you money and water as you care for your garden at this time of year.
And, with the UK’s National Drought Group recently urging everyone to use water wisely and conserve water supplies, it makes sense for us to harvest as much rainfall as we possibly can.
It has been estimated that up to 24,000 litres of water can be saved from the average house roof each year. Southern Water calculates that average rainfall in the South East of England can fill a water butt up to 450 times a year and that a butt can fill 25 watering cans - that’s 11,250 watering cans!
It also means we’re taking less water from our rivers, conserving a precious resource that is needed for our drinking supplies.
There are other advantages to using harvested water in our gardens. For a start, plants, fruit and veg prefer natural rainwater because it’s packed with beneficial nutrients. Tap water, on the other hand, commonly contains chemicals.
The ambient temperature of water from a butt is also better for the garden than the water we get from our cold taps.
And of course, a butt provides a handy source of water for your garden, if you don’t have an outdoor tap.
So, what are the practicalities of having a water butt? They come in various shapes and sizes - most household butts tend to be from 100 to 500 litres. You can connect several together, using butt linking kits. Most are plastic, but wooden and metal ones are also available. Prices typically start at under £30.
Water butts are relatively simple to install. The key requirements are a level ground surface and a downpipe from your roof. In simple terms, a connector hose diverts the water into your butt.
It might be too late to benefit from a water butt this summer, but if you install one now, you can start saving up for next year. Time to tap in?