Drought Fact Sheet: Saving Water in the Garden - Australia


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Drought Fact Sheet: Saving Water in the Garden - Australia

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Drought Fact Sheet: Saving Water in the Garden - Australia

  1. 1. Fact Sheet: Saving water in the garden Australians love the great outdoors, and gardening is one of our favourite past times. However, in the pursuit of a green garden, we use approximately twenty percent (20%) of household water outside. Careful planning and design of your garden is one of the most practical ways to save water and money Water restrictions Reduce grassed areas If you are unsure of the current level of water restrictions Please check the current water restrictions, as watering please contact Western Water’s water restrictions hotline lawns may be prohibited. on 1300 653 126 or visit www.westernwater.com.au Reducing the are of your lawn offers a great opportunity to conserve water and save money. Consider using paving, mulch, or water efficient groundcovering plants instead. Where possible, build driveways, paths and paved areas Plan your garden carefully so that rain run-off can be directed onto a lawn and/or garden area, rather than going down the drain. When planning your garden, it is important to consider the water needs of plants as well as their size and Don’t cut your grass too short. Leave a blade length of at appearance. Many native Australian plants flourish in drier least two centimetres to protect the surface and reduce conditions. evaporation loss. Ask your local nursery professional for advice on the best Remember to keep your grass cuttings to use as mulch on plants for your needs. A list of accredited Water Saver your garden. garden centres is available at www.ourwater.vic.gov.au Rainwater or greywater can be used to water your grass. One of the most effective ways of saving water in the Contact Western Water for information on rainwater and garden is to group your plants into high or low water greywater systems and available rebates. users. You can then design a watering pattern that is better for your plants, and avoid wasting water on plants that don’t need it. Tip: Reduce your lawn area and choose slow growing, drought tolerant grass varieties Tip: Choose water efficient plants to create a low maintenance garden and save money on water. Improve your soil Soil moisture content is vital to the health of any plant. Add plenty of organic matter such as compost and manure to the soil to improve water retention, soil structure and plant health. This is one of the most important steps in making your garden drought-tolerant. Tip: Healthy soil means healthy plants that are more likely to withstand drought conditions.September 2009
  2. 2. Use more mulchA well mulched garden reduces evaporation, addsnutrients to your soil, keeps weeds at bay and reducesrun-off during rain or watering. There are many differentmulch products including pebbles, leaves, woodchips, hay,compost or newspaper.Mulch is added straight to the soil surface. Spread it atleast seven millimetres thick, ensuring the mulch is keptclear of tree trunks and plant stems to avoid rot. Try totop-up your mulch every season, as most mulches breakdown quickly to become part of the soil.Please contact Western Water for current informationabout rebates available for water saving productsincluding mulch. Water wiselyTip: Mulching your garden can save up to 70% of waternormally lost through evaporation. Please check your permitted watering times under current water restrictions. Make sure that water goes directly to the roots of your plants and surrounding soils, rather than spraying the leaves and flowers.Consider rainwater and greywater Water your garden in the cool of the early morning, or inUnlike mains water, which may be subject to restrictions, the evening. Watering in the heat of the day is wasteful asrainwater and greywater can be used at any time to water most of the water will evaporate before it reaches the roots.your garden providing they are used correctly. Water your garden less often, but more thoroughly. ThisWestern Water has a free Rainwater and greywater fact sheet encourages your plants to extend their roots deeper,to help you understand the installation and maintenance making them more robust and less thirsty.requirements for rainwater and greywater systems and A wide range of watering systems are available, fromensure a safe and reliable alternative water source. sophisticated automatic systems to simple trigger hoses.Call Western Water on 1300 650 425 for a copy of the An irrigation professional or your local nursery can providefact sheet or download it from www.westernwater.com.au advice on the best system for your needs. Check your garden taps and hoses regularly and repair anyTip: Rainwater and greywater are valuable water resources leaks immediately.particularly during water restriction periods. Tip: A lot of water can be saved with an efficient and well designed garden irrigation system. Further information Contact Western Water on 1300 650 425 or visit our website at www.westernwater.com.au