10 ways to save water & summer proof your garden
Whether you’re growing beds of summer veggies, decorative annuals or native plants, there are some easy ways you can summer proof your garden and conserve on your water usage throughout the hot months.
- Harvest your rainwater. While there’s still a bit of rain around, consider installing a rainwater tank to harvest valuable water for use on the garden throughout summer.
- Irrigate, where possible. A slow drip irrigation system on a timer is by far the most effective way to ensure your plants get a regular and thorough watering.
- Recycle your grey water. Attach a grey water hose to your washing machine & use it to water trees and garden beds. Always use a biodegradable washing powder or liquid when recycling grey water for the garden.
- Mulch, mulch & more mulch. One of the most effective ways to conserve water and keep your garden healthy is to mulch around your plants, trapping water in the soil & preventing evaporation.
- Water regularly & deeply. Establish a watering schedule and stick to it. Always water deeply (rather than frequently), as this stretches out the days in your watering schedule. Don’t over water, as this can cause root rot.
- Water the roots, not the leaves. Plants drink through their roots, so watering the leaves is not only pretty useless, it can also cause the spread of fungal infections and damage your plants.
- Check the weather forecast. Watering your garden before it’s due to rain actually enhances the impact of a rainfall, as it improves the soil penetration of the rain.
- Water pot plants by hand. Pots, particularly terracotta pots, dry up really quickly in hot weather. Using a watering can to water by hand every three to four days is the best way to ensure your pot plants get the drink they need.
- Use a spray hose nozzle. When watering with the hose, attach a good quality spray nozzle with an adjustable flow and on/off flow control. Use the medium spray setting for the most efficient and effective watering. Switch the flow off when moving between garden beds or sections to limit water wastage.
- Water in the evenings. Although not always possible, try to schedule your watering in the evenings, when the direct sun has moved away from your garden. This reduces evaporation, prevents plants from burning, and maximises the impact of the water