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Water saving tricks we oughta know about as things heat up.

Water saving tricks we oughta know about as things heat up.

It's hot out so watch out for your plant mates and water usage.

Yes, you can just buy an assorted pack of succulents and plant a more drought tolerant garden but then not everyone wants a succulent garden do they?

So here are our top tips on how to just generally "watch the water"

Encourage deep root systems

When you water the garden it’s preferable to water longer but less frequently.

This allows more water to percolate into the lower horizons.

Roots don’t go looking for water, it’s more a case of them thriving in the presence of water.

Light watering encourages roots near the surface. When conditions are hot, these roots die off.

Learn to dig watering, it's not a job you can rush & you benefit by having downtime after a hectic day at the office. You're learning the fine art of watering and become a part of the growth cycle.

We find that it’s best to water twice, that is to give each of your babies a drink and progress down the garden. Once at the end, repeat. The first light watering conditions the soil and isn't heavy enough to run off. The soil is then prepared for the second watering which is free to penetrate deeply.

Group those that are needier together.

If you must have a couple of "greedy" plants, try growing them closer to one another so you’re not running around the garden with a hose like a crazy person; looks funny to the neighbours but not so efficient. If those species are still wilting, accept a less than luxuriant garden or switch to less demanding species.


Remove those darn weedy things.

Oh yes, those weedy things demand water too and they are experts at grabbing their fair share of the water budget. Get rid of them and this will stop your garden plants from having to compete with them for water.

Get down and dirty and mulch that garden with an organic mulch

Mulch reduces evaporation. It insulates the soil and keeps it cooler. It reduces the reflected heat from the soil surface. Plants reduce transpiration by closing guard cells on the undersides of leaves or folding leaves to minimise sun exposure.

To reduce evaporation, use mulch; it adds an insulating layer over the soil. It keeps the soil cooler and also reduces reflected heat from the soil surface. Mulch also helps control weeds, so it's a win-win situation for your garden. Microbes in the soil consume humus and break down minerals which plants take up. Dry soils are not conducive to microbe multiplication so mulch up! 

I like watered roots, not my leaves.

Plants take in water and nutrients from the soil through their roots. Make sure you water the soil around plants and apply enough to reach the entire root area. Generally, this may be the width of the shrub, the ‘drip line’ or larger.

Watering the foliage may cool the plants down briefly after a hot day but it also encourages fungal problems to develop if left too wet in the cooler of the night. Fungus doesn't do well in dry conditions so it's a good policy to water in the morning and let the leaves dry before night.

Few extras things to ponder on...

The use of water crystals to save soil moisture is in our opinion fruitless. If crystals bind water from the surrounding soil, it reduces soil moisture that may normally be available to plant roots.

Water-resistant materials like black plastic are definitely out! Water runs off the sheet to the surrounding areas, away from your plants.

Be aware that some mulches like (cypress mulch) are also poor at allowing water to percolate through. To check, pull back the mulch and check your soil. If it’s dry after a rain even or watering, reduce the thickness or eliminate altogether.

Soils hold moisture much better if there is an organic fraction, say 15%. Add straw, mulch, leaf litter, veggie scraps, anything before planting. Preparation is the key to good gardening!

Happy water saving.



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