7 Easy Tips for Water-Wise Gardening
Water is a scarce and dwindling resource for many countries and as the population of the world grows, so does the demand for clean water.
Most countries do not have proper greywater systems in place meaning that clean water – essentially drinking water – is used for gardening, washing, swimming pools, and a variety of industrial uses.
As such, it’s important to save as much water as possible in all aspects of life, and creating a water-wise garden is an easy step in the right direction.
1. Choose Indigenous Water-Wise Plants
There are a large variety of beautiful plants, both flowering and non-flowering, which require minimal to almost no watering once established.
Remember to plant in autumn after the first rains as this gives plants a full winter to develop a strong and hardy root system before facing the dry season.
2. Group Plants According to Water Requirements
The greatest advantage to planting water-wise plants is that they will need minimal watering once established.
Group plants according to their water needs to avoid wasting water on plants that don’t need it as often, and plants that need watering more often should be planted together in a small area where all their water needs can be attended to easily.
3. Reconsider Your Lush Lawn
Maintaining a lush, green lawn requires plenty of water so it’s a good idea to consider the amount of lawn you have and the amount you definitely need.
Opt for grasses which require less water and mowing, as less mowing time means more time to enjoy your favourite horse racing bets, but remember not to cut the grass too short as longer leaves shade the roots and reduces water evaporation.
4. Soil Preparation and Compost
When preparing your beds or ground for planting, it’s a wise move to dig in plenty of compost as it aids in the water retention ability of the soil, adding nutrients, and also encourages earthworm activity which improves aeration and drainage. Composting your beds once a year is encouraged and advised.
5. Make Use of Plenty of Mulch
Mulch such as dried leaves, pine needles, compost, bark chips, nut shells, pebbles, straw, chipped stone, and newspaper helps to keep the soil cool and reduces evaporation.
It also reduces run-off and erosion, suppresses weed growth, enriches the soil, and prevents compacting of the soil.
6. Water Correctly and Only When Necessary
Most people overwater their plants and aren’t even aware of the fact that they are doing so.
Save water by watering your plants and lawn thoroughly but less often and when evaporation is at its lowest such as the early morning and evening. A drip or underground irrigation system also saves water and reduces weed growth significantly.
7. Devise Shade and Windbreaks
Both the wind and sun have the ability to dry out plants. As such it’s a good idea to plant fast-growing, wind-resistant, water-wise trees and shrubs suited to your area to provide shade and shelter.
Water-wise gardens cut down water usage but are still incredibly beautiful if done well and there are many indigenous varieties to choose from.
Water-wise gardening should be the norm the world-over. Happy water-wise gardening!