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Watering when you have sight loss

In a hot summer, watering can take up a lot of time every day – particularly if you grow vegetables, or have plant in containers. Whatever you like to grow, it makes sense to find ways to reduce your watering.

Top tips to make watering easier

  • Can with control valve
    Some watering cans can be awkward to carry, so choose a design you can manage easily. A lightweight plastic watering can with flat sides should be easier to carry and tip than a round can. Look for cans with control valves that regulate the flow of water.
  • Many blind or partially sighted gardeners find that a watering can is easier to use than a hose – and can save water. You can cut the need to water your garden by mulching the soil, which keeps moisture in. Also try and water in the evening, when there is less evaporation.
  • When planting out, it will be easier to water each plant as you go using a plastic cup filled from a bucket of water.
  • Choose plants that like drier conditions – particularly for dry parts of the garden, or if you have free-draining soil. Find out more about easy-care plants in Thrive's plant guide
  • Use a cup to water small plants
    You can save time and effort by putting water butts and standpipes at convenient places around the garden. Try not to waste water on your lawn and concentrate on the plants that really need water – seedlings, newly planted trees and plants, and containers. Water vegetables when they need it most – when tubers are forming, when hearts are forming on leafy plants, and when peas and beans are flowering. 
  • To save reaching up and stretching to water hanging baskets, put them on pulleys so you can lower them to your height. However, for safety avoid having basket over head height.
  • Group containers together as they will need regular watering. Clay pots lose water more quickly than plastic ones.  In the summer, place saucers under your containers but remove them in the winter. You can also help keep pots and containers moist by adding water-retaining gel or granules to the compost and by standing pots on a layer of moist gravel.

Taking care

  • Watering using a can or a heavy hose can cause a strain on the arms, hands, back and legs. For watering small plants or areas, for example seedlings or containers, use a small, lightweight watering to keep the weight that you are lifting to a minimum.
  • Reaching to get water to out-of-reach plants can cause extra strain, so don’t over stretch.
  • Wet paths can cause glare and slips, so take care when watering or if it’s been raining.


Equipment and tools

  • Can with control valve
    A can with a valve control releases the water on demand and needs less tipping, saving arm strain. 
  • If you prefer to use a hose, a hose reel should be easier to manage than a standard hose.  There are also lightweight expanding, or 'curly’, hoses which are easier and lighter to pull into position, and they spring back into place.
  • To save straining when you water with a hose, choose a spray that you can operate easily and try a special attachment such as a lance spray, fan spray, trigger grip or squeeze grip spray. They can help you get water to hanging baskets or other out-of-
    A lance spray
    reach plants.
  • There is a whole range of automated watering options, including drip watering systems that can be set up and linked to hanging baskets, growbags, or greenhouse plants. While these systems can be costly and fiddly to set up, they can save time in the long run - and can even save water. With some systems, you can programme the timer and plan your watering in advance.
  • You could lay seep hoses in your beds and borders, they help deliver the water to the plants more slowly and capillary matting takes water to the base of pots and seed trays and are useful in the greenhouse and conservatory.


Large can with control valve  

Large can with control valve

Lightweight and with a narrow profile, this watering can has a control valve at the top of the handle to regulate the flow of water.

Find out more about large can with control valve


Curly hose  

Curly hose

A hose that automatically curls up after use and is supplied with connectors, wall bracket and spraygun.

Find out more about curly hose


Micro-drip system  

Micro-drip system

This system has a hose fitted with water drippers which you can reposition as your plants grow. There are small metal clips to fix the drippers which are easier to use than other fixing systems.

Find out more about Micro-drip system


Small can with control valve  

Small can with control valve

A button at the top of the handle allows you to control the flow of water from this small and well-balanced watering can.

Find out more about small can with control valve