Water Saving Tips
By Rachel Vogan
It's important that we conserve our water and get the most out of the water we use. There are a number of ways we can be more efficient with the use of our water in the garden. Signs of ineffective watering are poor plant performance, visible water run-off without penetrating the soil. Dry spots can also be due to tree and grass root mats preventing penetration.
Water your garden once every few days rather than applying a small amount every day. By watering a little very day you encourage the plants roots to stay on the soil surface to find water - by deep watering every few days you encourage the roots to go deeper into the soil to seek moisture, therefore making the plant more sturdy. It is wasteful to apply water faster than the soil can soak it in. If you add too much water too fast it will pond, run off and maybe even wash away the soil if the ground is sloping. Planting ground cover plants will also reduce moisture loss. It is the soil that is totally exposed to the air and sun that leeches the most moisture.
Aim to water early morning or evening, when winds have died down and temperatures are cooler. By doing this you will minimise the amount of water lost to evaporation. Also keep weeds down, as this will reduce the weeds competing with other plants for the water.
Mulching is one of the most cost-effective ways of helping conserve moisture in the garden. For maximum effect you need to apply about 10 cm of organic matter to the soil surface. The mulch will do a number of things; it reduces moisture loss, reduces weed growth and increases biological activity in the soil.
Take care with your water, remember to water carefully and plant wisely to reduce water wastage – and enjoy your garden this Summer!!