The Drought


Latest news and updates on the drought and how horticulture is coping.

Latest News

Indoor farms boosted by technology and cost savings

04 April 2014

Advancing technology and falling costs are helping bring about a boom in "indoor farms" in the USA and elsewhere, according to organisers of the world's largest conference on the subject.

Water: design champions needed

Water: design champions needed

04 April 2014

Collaboration critical for water-sensitive urban design, Ecobuild Future Cities seminar hears.

Strong views aired at landscape event on plant-supply issue

Strong views aired at landscape event on plant-supply issue

07 March 2014

Landscape industry discussion on contract types turns into passionate debate on who should profit from supply of plants.

Water sensitive designs on Royal Docks shortlist

Water sensitive designs on Royal Docks shortlist

27 February 2014

A shortlist of 20 water sensitive designs has been selected in a competition to find imaginative ideas to transform the world's largest enclosed docks.

Open letter from landscape, planning and environmental bodies demands flood action

Open letter from landscape, planning and environmental bodies demands flood action

21 February 2014

The Landscape Institute and Arboricultural Association have joined together with 15 other professional organisations, who regularly work together on projects designed to manage water, prevent flooding and increase resilience, to ask for proper long-t...


Storm runoff and SUDS on agenda at this Friday's water industry group event

13 January 2014

The Sustainable Water Industry Group is calling on experts to look at how to create "green urban oases" at a conference this Friday, 17 January. "The accepted reality is we must move towards sustainable cities, reduce per capita consumption of water...


Government blasted by Landscape Institute for "paralysis" on flooding

13 January 2014

The Landscape Institute has used the recent flooding to repeat calls for the government to "end the paralysis on flooding and water". President Sue Illman issued a statement in which she said the floods once again exposed the UK s lack of resilienc...


Hosepipe bans ruled out by utility firm for the year ahead

10 January 2014

Thames Water has confirmed that there will be no hosepipe bans this year.


AIPH welcomes Canadian bill in support of plant breeders' rights.

15 December 2013

The International Association for Horticultural Producers has welcomed a new bill passed in Canada which strengthens breeders' intellectual property rights and has called on other countries to adopt similar measures. The Agricultural Growth Act, pa...

Lake District larches to be removed in anticipation of Phytophthora

Lake District larches to be removed in anticipation of Phytophthora

12 December 2013

A programme of native woodland restoration at Thirlmere Forest in Cumbria is being ramped up due to the threat posed by Phytophthora ramorum to the larch trees which currently make up more than a third of the forest. United Utilities woodland offi...


Garden equipment market to grow by 3.3 per cent says Key Note

11 December 2013

Over the next 5 years, the market for garden equipment in the UK will grow by 3.3%, the latest report on the garden tools market from Key Note predicts. All sectors will return to growth despite some sectors having seen losses between 2008 and 2012 ...

Tree officers call for

Tree officers call for "proportionate" response to massaria threat

10 December 2013

The London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) has published a guidance document for tree managers on how to cope with and record instances of the plane tree disease massaria ( Splanchnonema platani ). Produced in collaboration with Treework Environmen...


Professional gardener - Water levels

What a difference a year makes This time last year, the south-east of England joined parts of the Midlands and East Anglia in drought and we were discussing the need for wise watering. All opportunities had to be taken to save water. Today we a...

Getting through the drought

Garden retail - Water efficiency drive

Garden retail - Water efficiency drive

25 May 2012

With hosepipe bans expected to remain in many areas of the country, the focus has switched to saving water, Graham Clarke reports.

Hardy Nursery Stock - Challenging sales conditions

Hardy Nursery Stock - Challenging sales conditions

18 May 2012

With the rain keeping garden centre customers away, how are their nursery suppliers faring? Can this season's sales be rescued? Graham Clarke reports.

Market report - Landscape and turf irrigation

Market report - Landscape and turf irrigation

04 May 2012

The latest equipment can help justify irrigation in water shortage-hit times, says Sally Drury.

Turf - Smarter water use

Turf - Smarter water use

20 April 2012

While lobbying for hosepipe ban concessions continues, the focus has turned to alleviating drought impact on sports facilities, Hannah Jordan reports.

Protected stock - Dealing with drought

Protected stock - Dealing with drought

13 April 2012

With drought leading to hosepipe bans, bedding plant suppliers are striving to maintain customer confidence, Hannah Jordan reports.


Professional Gardener - Wise water use, waking pests and planting

02 March 2012

Drought warnings in English regions are cause for concern right across the country, says Sally Drury.

Efficient irrigation - Measured success

Efficient irrigation - Measured success

16 March 2012

Research into efficient irrigation is producing hi-tech solutions that may help growers to cope with water restrictions, Claire Shaddick reports.


Opinion and comment

Hewson On ... Rain washed away drought message

25 May 2012

Many moons ago, I wrote a piece that I thought was rather cool and very much of our time.


Seabrook On ... Shifting plants in challenging times

18 May 2012

The removal of VAT exemption on products worth up to £18 posted from the Channel Isles to the mainland is hitting employment and the islands' economy. The increase in postal charges will also become a drag on the mail-order plant trade.


Failed by poor communication

20 April 2012

Summing up perfectly the anger and frustration felt by landscapers and their suppliers across the hosepipe ban-hit regions this week, Palmstead Nurseries sales and marketing manager Nick Coslett spells out the situation thus: "Water companies have ma...


Reader Panel - How is the ban on hosepipe use affecting retail sales?

20 April 2012

HW asked garden centre managers and industry representatives what has happened since the hosepipe ban was introduced on 5 April.


Reader Panel - What problems do you think drought will create in your garden?

02 March 2012

With drought declared in a number of areas of the country, we asked participants at the Managing as a Head Gardener seminar last week whether they thought water restrictions would be a problem.


Exemption is right direction

16 March 2012

After the nightmare that the hosepipe bans of 2006 unleashed on parts of the garden sector, the news that drip-watering systems are to be exempted at three of the seven water companies that have announced similar bans this week, is very welcome indee...


Reader Panel - What impact will low rainfall have on the garden industry?

20 January 2012

The Environment Agency has warned that water restrictions are still possible despite a wetter December.



Science Into Practice - Irrigation needs of substrates

16 August 2013

This project developed and tested irrigation schedules for reduced, peat-free and industry standard growing media to help cut water use while maintaining or improving crop quality.


Science Into Practice - Efficient water use for pears

26 April 2013

The four different growing systems being compared in the concept pear orchard at East Malling Research have been shown to have very different irrigation requirements, with significant drainage occurring in some of them.


Science Into Practice - Rootstocks for tree fruit

09 November 2012

Improved rootstocks are necessary to maintain sustainable and profitable top-fruit production.


Science Into Practice - Energy saving for field crops

12 October 2012

Growers need to seek out practical and cost-effective ways to reduce energy consumption and cost. Climate concerns are a key issue and it is widely accepted that burning fossil fuels is a key contributor through the release of CO2 to the atmosphere.


Science Into Practice - Impact of irrigation on onion crops

06 April 2012

An estimated 85 per cent of Rijnsburger dry bulb onion crops are irrigated following a recent move in the industry to production on light soils to improve quality and aid crop management. But there is little scientific evidence to support current irr...


Research Matters - Efficient watering of containers

16 March 2012

Growers and researchers are well aware of the need to use water efficiently (HW, 20 May, 9 September and 11 November 2011). The present research examined how to deploy a limited number of moisture sensors to predict the substrate water content of a l...


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In This Issue

Horticulture Week - 18 April 2014

NEWS: Garden centres look forward to late Easter sales bonanza

SARGENT'S SOLUTIONS: Why the Customer Rights Bill should be seen as an opportunity rather than a threat

MARKET REPORT: Glasshouses

LANDSCAPE ANALYSIS: Government prospectus offers potential boost across disciplines

EDIBLES: Helping cut food waste - latest packaging addresses concerns over waste issues

PLANT FOCUS: Polygonatum