Water is the key to life and being waterwise is everyone’s responsibility. Waterwise gardening is a great way to ensure that you are doing your bit to save water.
What is Waterwise Gardening?
Waterwise gardening makes use of more local plants that are natural to the specific area in which one’s garden is. Local indigenous plants will use less water or rather waste less water because one will not have to overwater to accommodate non local plants that more often than not require more water than the local plants do.
The key to waterwise gardening is planning your plant choice and garden design according to their water needs.
How does one make a Waterwise Garden?
Water efficiency is the main goal for a waterwise garden. Some great tips for making your own waterwise garden are listed below:
- Choose the correct plants
Hardy drought tolerant plants absorb water and use it sparingly when needed
Local indigenous plants will use water according to the local climate.
- Group similar plants together
The plants that need the same amounts of water and soil can be grouped in the same planter or flower bed so that they can be watered in the same way.
- Correct Soil
Clay soil will hold more water where as sandy soil will allow water to run through it. One needs to ensure that the correct soil is used for the specific type of plants you are planting.
- Use Mulch
Mulch such as wood chips, bark, peach/apricot pip husks, pebbles, straw etc. Placing much to cover your beds can reduce evaporation from the soil by up to 70%.
- Time of day to water
Watering your garden in the early morning or late evening is usually best. Watering at midday can cause plants leaves to burn and more water will likely evaporate then reach the roots where the water is needed. A timed irrigation system will automatically assist in getting the water levels correct and the right time of day every time. Remember to adjust at the change of season to avoid over usage or underwatering.
Grey Water Gardening Solutions
Reusing and recycling water can be one of your most effective assets in the pursuit of a water wise garden.
- Bucket in the shower
By putting a bucket in the shower, you can collect a lot of the shower water that will just go down the drain. This water can be used to water the plants and grass.
- Water Tanks
Using water tanks to collect rain runoff from your gutters is a fantastic way to save water that would usually be sent down the drain. This water can then be used for irrigating your garden.
- Kitchen waste water
Often water used in the kitchen for cooking and cleaning is discarded down the drain. Do look out for opportunities re-use as much of this water as possible:
- Cleaning fruit and veggies
- Boiling pasta / rice / eggs – let the water cool and water the grass or plants with it
- Ice that is no longer needed and not yet melted can be put into the garden to melt and feed the soil
- Grey water plumbing
Plumbers can run shower water and or washing machine water into a grey water tank. Water from this tank can be used to water your garden.
Waterwise gardening is not just a fun fad, water supplies in some areas are dwindling and it is everyone’s responsibility to help to save water where we can.
Do the right thing. Every drop counts!