In dry times or when El Nino haunts our thoughts, we tend to save as much water as possible and one of the first things to do is stop watering the garden. Water restrictions usually come in whether we want them too or not and it is painful to see precious plants in the garden droop and die for want of a good soaking. Nevertheless, it is something that all gardeners in dry areas must come to terms with. Here are some ways to conserve water in the garden.
When you install a watering system, go for drip irrigation. This will deliver a small amount of water right to the base of the plant where it is needed, rather than spraying heaps across the whole garden, path, fence, driveway and the wall of the house. You can now get systems that can sense whether the garden even needs watering. DIY guide (Drip Irrigation)
Time of watering is also important. If you water in the morning, there are 8-10 hours of heat that will evaporate your efforts. Watering in the evening means the water will not evaporate to any great extent until the next day. That means your plant roots have all that time to soak it up, thus making the best use of the water you give them. Professional reticulation installers should be used at all times.
Two Kinds of Mulch
Choosing the right plants will reduce the need for water in the garden, but mulching will also help. Using mulch keeps the soil cooler and slows down evaporation. Straw, mushroom waste and sugarcane mulch are all good additions to the garden as they break down slowly and add fertiliser. You don’t have to buy straw if you have a lawn that needs mowing on a regular basis. All you need to do is save the clippings – and the fallen leaves from trees and shrubs.
How to use Sugar Cane Mulch
However, you can also add the kind of mulch that does not break down and this, too, will help to conserve water in the garden. Pine chips or bark, or even pebbles in a smaller garden help to conserve water.