As the temperatures start to rise and the rain stops falling your garden needs plenty of water to stay alive. To keep your garden healthy and save yourself some money, it’s important to make the most of the water you use. Here are some simple tips that can make a big difference in your garden this summer.
Replace Your Leaking Taps and Hoses
You’d be amazed how much water a dripping tap or leaking hose can waste. You’re paying for that water and it’s not going where you need it to go – on your plants. A small investment in replacing any faulty connectors, washers or taps can save you lots of water and possibly some of your plants.
Install Low-Water Watering Systems
Your garden can’t absorb high volumes of water if you deliver it all at once. It ends up running off into the storm water or sitting as standing water that usually evaporates. Low-water systems like drip irrigation and soaker hose deliver the water to your plants at a rate that the plant and the soil can absorb, minimising run off and evaporation.
Water at the Right Time of the Day
Avoid watering during the hottest parts of the day – you’ll lose significant amounts of water to evaporation. You want the water that goes on your garden to be absorbed by your plants and stored in the soil for your plants to access during the day. The best watering times are early in the morning so the plants can have a nice big drink and the soil is cool and ready to absorb water. It’s also good to give the garden a drink at dusk so replace the water that plants and the soil lost during the day.
Use Drought Tolerant Plants
European plants are lovely but they can really struggle during our long, hot summers. Australian plants and succulents can be great option because they are much more low maintenance plants once they are established. It’s also worth finding out what plants are native to your area and soils.
Feed and Protect Your Plants
You can improve how well your soil absorbs and holds water for your plants. Soil wetting agents, lots of organic material and clay breaker if your soil is heavy and full of clay are all good ways to improve your soil’s water holding capacity.
Protect Your Pot Plants
There’s an upside and a downside to pot plants during summer. The downside is that they need a lot more water than plants in the ground because they only have access to a limited volume (the pot) to hold water in. This means you really need to water more often because they can dry out very quickly. The upside is that they’re in pots so you can move them out of the hot sun and in to shady, cool spots to help stop evaporation.