Did you know that most of flower and domestic gardens use approximately 30-45% of domestic water? With an average amount of rainfall throughout the year, water is becoming very scarce in our already water scarce planet. Water available for drinking and domestic use, makes up only 30 % of the total water supply available on our planet. Below are some basic tips on how to make your garden water wise while still preserving its natural beauty.
1Try hardscaping. Cut down on lawn areas. Rather create an architectural feature that looks pleasing and water wise. By doing this you are already reducing your gardens watering requirements. When you are hardscaping make sure that the style and surfaces used blend in with the overall feel of the area. Examples of this include rocky pathways with pebble stones, concrete stones, earthen paving of specific garden spaces, etc.
2Try harvesting or catchment of natural rainwater. This can be done by collecting rainwater in a tank, rock pool, etc. These are allowed in the countryside or on an estate as long as the tank is out of sight. This prevents you from using purified drinking water to water your plants. In sub urban residential areas, smaller tanks may be allowed if covered by plant creepers or the tank is made to look as part of the garden design and layout.
3Try drip irrigation. Use drip irrigation at the roots of plants. When plants are watered by irrigation or the usual hosing, only 2 % of the water actually reaches the roots of the plants. The rest of the water actually runs off or evaporates. As a result much of the water is wasted. Mulch your garden as well as this retains water. Information on drip irrigation is freely available on many sites on the internet.
4Monitor watering times for effective plant growth. Early mornings and evenings is the best time to avoid evaporation. Also remember to group plants according to their water needs. Hardy and herbaceous succulent plants that require less water should be grouped together. Flowering plants and shrubs ideally should be grouped together. In this way watering can be timed accordingly.
5Plant indigenous plants. These are natural to the country, grows more naturally without too much effort and uses much less water to flourish and survive. This is also not only water wise but will invite butterflies and birds into your garden.
6Go organic. Stop using chemical laden pesticides and fertilizers. Rather use natural remedies to get rid of insects, ants and other garden pest. Mint and Mustard herbs is well known for keeping away mosquitoes and flies. Find out from a plant specialist or nursery about plant types that serve as an insect or pest repellent.
7Try making your own compost. One can make compost from almost any organic substance. Organic simply means anything that will decay and break down. Vegetable and fruit peels, egg shells, coffee grinds, used teabags, stale bread and garden refuse makes excellent compost.
8Try alternate methods of gardening. Indoor or a partly enclosed garden covered in shade cloth can work wonders in terms of water conservation and usage. Planting shrubs and flowers under shaded trees can also be useful. Create innovative and original ideas of your own. You may surprise others, even yourself, with some aesthetic beauty that can become a trend for others to follow.Advertisement
- Home and Garden magazines also provide some useful hints on how to plan and design a water wise garden.
- The earths population has trebled in the past few years. With the planets dwindling resources, much care and effort is needed to preserve our natural water resources.
- Tap into your creative side. Be willing to try new and cost effective ways to reduce your water bill and at the same time making an effective and profound difference to the lives of many.
- Much useful information and advice can be freely available from garden and natural landscapers.
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