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Saving water in your garden

It’s getting dry out there so gardeners are out with their watering cans and sprinklers. But water is a precious resource, the life source for all living things, so it’s important to consider ways to conserve it. Here are some tips for saving water in your garden this summer.

• Choose hardy plants

Grow plants that have good drought- tolerance. Native flaxes and grasses, astelias and copromas have low-watering requirements, once established.

• Mulch, mulch, mulch

Mulch around the base of plants to keep moisture in the soil. Consider using organic mulches, like lucerne or pea straw, which break down and help improve the soil.

• Chicken poo is your friend

Fertilise with organic plant food such as Yates Dynamic Lifter Organic Plant Food. This will help improve soil structure and its ability to retain water.

• Instal irrigation and tap timers

Help automate watering in your garden and ensure your plants receive the right amount of water at the right time every day. Look for tap timers with programmable watering cycles — this can help reduce water run-off and can often be suspended when rain is forecast.

• Check for leaks

Make sure all your tap fittings and hoses aren’t leaking. You can waste a lot of water from holey hoses and leaky taps.

• Have more control over your hand watering

Invest in handy watering tools, like a hose fitting with a trigger gun, which allows you to better control the flow of water. You can find ones with different spray patterns to suit your watering needs.

• Don’t lose water to evaporation

It’s best to give your plants a deep drink early in the morning before the harsh afternoon sun comes around. This gives the roots time to soak up the water before you lose it to evaporation.

• Recycle, recycle, recycle

From a drinking glass or bottle of ‘old’ water to the water you use to cook your pasta in, it all counts. Before pouring it down the sink, think about whether your plants might be thirsty. If it gets really dry and you rely on rainwater tanks, put buckets on the floor of your shower to collect the litres and litres of water that regularly go down the drain. Your plants will love you for it.

• Water lawns efficiently and effectively

When watering large areas such as lawns, use a sprinkler to help get the best coverage and to give your lawn a good deep soak. Look for one which allows you to adjust the head for flexible watering to suit different lawn shapes and sizes.

— Courtesy of Yates