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Derbyshire company helps horticulturalists manage drought conditions

Derbyshire company helps horticulturalists manage drought conditions

Water-saving planters manufactured by a Derbyshire company are helping councils, gardeners and horticulturalists maintain floral displays during the current drought.

The self-watering planters, which are made by Alfreton-based company Amberol, are specially designed to conserve water. The containers have a built-in water reservoir below the compost with a series of capillaries to ‘suck up’ the water which is then evenly dispersed via an expander pad.

Because the water is stored under the compost, it doesn’t evaporate in warmer conditions. This means that even in the hottest, driest season, hanging baskets and containers need only be watered once or twice a week, saving on both water and maintenance.

Steve Parker, Commercial Manager at Amberol, explains some of the other benefits of using self-watering planters.

“The plants are able to access water and nutrients as and when needed, so using self-watering containers also helps to ensure optimal growth. This is particularly important during drought conditions.”

Sales representative Derek Jones added:

“Lots of our customers are telling us how useful the planters have been during this dry summer and that they have made it easier to keep the floral displays looking fresh without having to water so often.”

Draycott in Bloom in Derbyshire has been using Amberol planters for many years. Group volunteer Ali Bowley commented:

"We were extolling the virtues of Amberol’s self-watering planters to the RHS Britain in Bloom judges on their recent visit. We’re not sure where we’d be without them, especially this year. Adapting our planting to include more succulent plants combined with the use of self-watering planters has been a win-win situation regarding watering requirements this year.”

England has had its driest July since 1935 with just 10% of the usual rainfall and drought conditions set to last until October according to the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. Hosepipe bans look likely to be introduced across many parts of central England. During a ban, people aren’t allowed to water plants and gardens although they are allowed to use a hosepipe for business purposes.

Made from recycled or recyclable polyethylene, Amberol’s self-watering planters are notable for using the company’s unique Aquafeed™ matting system. The range of self-watering planters include hanging baskets, large floor standing planters, wood effect barrels and tiered containers.

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