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PPG_Blog_Jan_image 8_summer garden survival tips

The savewater! Alliance is a Victoria initiative that works with water businesses, government agencies, and product and technology providers to invest in delivering a range of outcomes across three focus areas:

  1. water conservation and efficiency
  2. valuing water products and initiatives, and
  3. product and technology solutions

When it comes to preserving and maintaining a healthy summer garden, while conserving and building a drought tolerant garden, savewater! has created a website with extensive information and resources. Some of their top tips around using water in the garden include:

Watering plants

Many plants are much tougher than you think and will go for quite long periods without additional watering. Less frequent watering forces roots down to find water, making the plants less reliant on surface water and better able to stand hot, dry days. Also, check the four-day forecast at the Bureau of Meteorology. If there’s rain in the forecast, let the rain do your watering for you.

If you have plants that need more water as soon as the weather warms up could they be moved to a cooler area or protected from drying winds? Could they be replaced with drought tolerant plants this autumn that will have a similar appearance and style?

Watering Lawns

Accepted wisdom is you should not water too often. Giving the lawn a proper drink, less often, encourages deeper root growth and means your grass will be more able to withstand heat stress and dry periods.

Most people overestimate how much water their lawn needs. Grass is shallow rooted and rarely extends more than 25mm into the soil. Put more water than this on your soil and it’s not helping your lawn or your water bill. Lawn does not need to be watered again until the soil dries out.

Put a 25mm deep tuna tin out when you are watering your lawn and stop when the tin is full. Then watch how long it takes for the water to evaporate from the tin. That is when it is time to water again.

Irrigation

One of savewater!’s water efficiency tips is to water roots, not leaves. Dripper irrigation systems, which deliver water at or below the ground surface, are therefore more efficient than spray irrigation systems, which disperse water above the ground surface.

Drip irrigation is also better suited to other water efficiency measures. Most experts recommend mulch for water efficient gardens but unfortunately a spray irrigation system operating above fine mulch will only water the mulch – not the plants – and most of the water is likely to be lost to evaporation or absorbed by the mulch rather than the soil below.
Regardless of the system it is important to only water in the early morning and at dusk when temperatures are lower and evaporation is less.

For more information visit www.savewater.com.au

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