Will the dry spell hit plant sales and will it result in hosepipe bans?

United Utilities has said reservoirs across the North West are 90 per cent full on average so there are no plans for hosepipe bans - yet.

April was the hottest on record for England and Wales, according to the Met Office, with just 21 per cent of expected rainfall.

Grower

"One of the problems that we're getting now is it is unbelievably dry. In the North West they are desperate for rain.

"Where hosepipe bans have hit hard and stuffed the market is when the ban comes in early.

"But by the time that any come in, it will be the end of May or into June - and the market for our stock will be starting to diminish by then."

Andrew Richardson, director, Johnsons of Whixley

Grower

"At the moment, sales are strong and our customers are reporting one of the busiest springs for 20 or so years - so there will be plenty of plants out there.

"It is a bit early yet for the bedding/container/hanging basket plants to be evident in the gardens, but if the dry spell continues it will be a challenge for consumers.

"A hose pipe ban is a possibility, but as soon as you mention it in the press, it will start to rain."

Mark Taylor, business development manager, Kernock Park Plants

Grower

"Farmers are making a lot of noise about the lack of rain. For our nursery, water is not an issue, but the dry spell will encourage a switch to bedding faster from hardy nursery stock.

"If there's a lack of rain, people will think more about barbecues. The weather will encourage sales of bedding and patio gardening plants.

"I'm pretty relaxed if you come in on a different angle and see less planting in soil and more patio planting."

John Lord, managing director, John Woods Nurseries

Supplier

"I was surprised to see water companies saying that there will not be any hose pipe bans - I don't know how they can say that.

"There must be so many people who have planted plants, which will be an issue for retailers with plant guarantees.

"There is a high chance that they will find themselves replacing them again after replacing many in the winter. This has to be a worry for retailers."

Neil Gow, director, Garden Industry Manufacturers Association


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