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Plants in the ground can sink their roots deeper in search of water at times of drought, but those in pots are entirely dependent on you. - Make life easier by starting off with generous-sized pots: small pots heat up quickly and dry out quickly, so go as big as you can afford. When soaked, they swell up and then slowly release water. - Mulch the surface of pots with something decorative, such as slate paddlestones.It looks good, keeps the compost cool and cuts down evaporation from the surface.

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Those watered often but not deeply will only ever send out shallow, surface roots that suffer in drought times. Water it deeply and then cover with bark chippings or compost, to help seal it in and prevent evaporation.

Lawns Lawns are vast consumers of water but only if you insist on having the perfect green sward all year round.

I’d say an alarmingly dry winter, except that I’ve loved it: the soggy end of my garden hasn’t turned into a bog, I’ve only once been rained off at the allotment, and I’ve very seldom walked across the plot and had my wellies instantly transformed into mud-soled platform boots.

Delightful as this has been, there is always a price to pay for climate extremity.

Here are some practical tips to keep the garden green and beat the ban.

- Pots are one of the most troubling garden features during a drought. They can create a little humid microclimate between them which means that their leaves lose less moisture and they need less water.

- As well as giving you a great source of captured water, a large tank of water helps to regulate the temperature of the air in the greenhouse, keeping it cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

- Greenhouses overheat on hot days so it helps to use shading in summer.

It bodes worryingly for the growing season, and water restrictions across southern and eastern England are a black cloud on the horizon – although not of the right kind.

Southern Water, South East Water, Thames Water, Anglian Water, Sutton and East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East have all announced restrictions, including a hosepipe ban, to come into effect on April 5.

You need to be particularly careful to minimise water use here.

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