Water usage tripled over the last 50 years. And while only ten percent of the water used goes toward domestic usage, it’s up to each and every one of us to do our part and lessen our consumption.
And yet, how do you lessen your consumption?
One of the biggest offenders in the area of water waste at home is the lawn and garden.
You can save a lot of water and save on your water bill if you reduce how much water you waste in the garden.
So, it’s time to learn to garden without wasting water.
1. Save water by mulching
A good amount of water in the soil evaporates on a hot sunny day. You can keep this from happening by adding a layer of mulch to your garden.
This will add a protective layer over your soil to keep the water in, and it will eventually break down and turn into nutrient-rich soil.
Mulches also keep weeds from cropping up around your plants as it blocks out the sun, and helps keep your soil and plants cool.
But make sure you use coarse mulch. Fine mulches clump up and act like a soil and provide a good environment for weeds and don’t protect the soil from water loss.
Read more here on the benefits of mulch in your garden.
2. Water your pots in the afternoon and the rest of the garden in the morning
Potted plant mixes dry out faster than regular soils. If you water your pots in the morning, most of the water will be wasted because of the heat or the sun.
But if you water them in the evening, your plants will have more time overnight to absorb the water.
You should water the rest of your garden early in the morning before the sun is hot and more evaporations occur.
3. Use an automatic irrigation system
Watering the garden by hand can result in a lot of water-wastage from drips, leaks, run-off and over-watering.
Not to mention you have to remember do it at the correct time of day, and sometimes adjust your schedule to fit it in.
By using a professionally installed reticulation system you save water and time, and have the peace of mind in knowing your garden always has the right amount of water it needs, even if you aren’t home to do it. Holidays have never been easier!
Your system can also be seasonally optimised so you never risk over or under watering your valuable garden, no matter what the weather is like.
Don’t waste water or time, it’s much easier to have a irrigation system do it all for you.
4. Use a moisture meter
Moisture meters aren’t that expensive, and they will give you an accurate reading of the water in your garden’s soil. If you have lots of potted plants around, even indoors, this can be helpful for checking them as well.
10-30% moisture means your soil is dry and you must water it.
80-100% means your soil is wet and should be left alone for a while.
And 40-70% means even Goldilocks would be satisfied with your soil water levels – just right.
At PLG we recommend the use of a smart automated retic controller that can be connected to weather stations and a bunch of sensors throughout your garden (rain sensor, soil moisture sensor, flow sensors,…)
5. Use the right soil
When you learn to garden, one of the first things you should learn is how to use proper soils.
You want to be able to keep as much water in your soil as possible. And that is only possible through using the right soil. Perth has very sandy soils which can make growing healthy plants difficult, but not impossible. Read here for checking plants and soil for nutrient deficiencies.
You want a good mix of clay, compost, and organic material in your soil. Here are our tips on fertilising your garden in Perth.
Make liquid manure compost to increase the number of nutrients in your water retentive soils as well.
6. Landscape Design to save water
Water retention isn’t just about mulches and soils. It’s also about how you design your garden and landscape.
Learn to design your garden in such a way as to keep all the water you need where you need it.
Where water pools, use water loving plants. Use diversion drains to spread out the moisture.
Build mounds around trees and shrubs to reduce runoff, and have an irrigation system installed at the same time as your design to minimise potential damage to plants and lawn. and to make sure your newly-installed lawn has enough water to keep it growing strong.
Garden smart, use natives in your planting and design which are used to Perth’s heat and soils, and don’t need as much water and attention as other plants will.
Hire a gardener to save water
There are so many ways to save water when gardening, and a professional gardener can help you with things like correct plant selection, proper maintenance, and optimising your reticulation system in order to have a happy, healthy and water-wise garden.