Saving Water and Money with Your Existing Lawn: Waterwise Gardening - Goulburn Valley Water, Australia
Victorian gardeners use 406 800 000 litres of water a day WaterWise The WaterWise in the Garden initiative has Gardening been introduced to help gardeners reduce Saves Water their water consumption. Saves Work Saves Money andThe Benefits of Being WaterWise Saves Our EnvironmentThere are three major benefits to being WaterWisein your garden: Want More Information? A WaterWise Gardener will Save Money... The "WaterWise in the Garden" initiative is Governments throughout Australia are reviewing designed to help gardeners by providing expert the way in which we pay for water. In the future information on how to maintain a high quality when we save water, we will save money. By garden but at the same time conserve water. applying the "WaterWise in the Garden" ideas, Goulburn Valley Water and the Nursery you have the potential to cut your outdoor Industry Association of Victoria are water use by up to 50% whilst still maintaining a eager to help gardeners be WaterWise. green, pleasant and rewarding garden. For further advice, information and practical assistance on water A WaterWise Garden is a Low Maintenance conservation in the garden, Garden... speak to your local nursery With smaller lawn areas, clever use of mulching industry professional or call: and landscaping and a well designed irrigation system, WaterWise gardens are a lot less work Goulburn Valley Water than conventional gardens. 5832 0400 A WaterWise Garden is more natural and helps to save our environment... A WaterWise Gardener helps to save our environment by: • Reducing use of fertilisers and chemicals. • Reducing water run off to the stormwater system (which runs straight into our waterways). • Helping to delay the need for further dams. Brochures available in this series • WaterWise Watering & Irrigation Systems •Successful Pot Plants Using Less Water G.V.P.S. 01/02 WaterWise Gardening... • How to Identify Water Efficient Plants at a Glance • You Can Have Beautiful Flowers and Still Conserve Water Benefiting the Individual •Saving Water, Work and Money with Your Existing Lawn and the Community •Water Efficient Shrubs
Saving Water, Work and Money with Your Existing Lawn WaterWise Tips On Establishing A NEW LawnLarge backyards and lawns are historically a major There is no need to water your lawn in rainypart of Australian gardens. But have you ever periods when the ground is natually wet enough. There are three ways to establish a lawn: turf rolls;paused to think just how much it costs to maintain People with automatic watering systems need to runners; or seed.your lawn? pay particular attention to ensure they are Turf rolls offer instant cover and provide the mostThe more that you water your lawn, the more it switched off during rainy periods. water efficient means of establishing a lawn inbecomes dependent on you for water, and the summer. However, it is best to establish new lawns Watering and Sprinkler Systems during the cooler months of Spring and Autumn.more you have to mow it. This can be expensiveand take a lot of time and effort. Old watering systems are often poorly designed and Take advantage of any delay by: fitted with sprinklers which waste water. Some of the • Removing all weeds from the area,For this reason, lawns should never be used as a common faults are misting, and sprinklers which water • Improving the soil and drainage, and‘fill in’. lawns and garden beds or paving at the same time.Hardy ground covers and paving are two of many • Mulching the area. The "WaterWise in the Garden" brochure on wateringlower water use alternatives. systems details how you can reduce your water use by Choosing A Water Efficient Grass improving the efficiency of your irrigation system. Take a look at your garden to see if you need Grasses such as Couch Grass eg. ‘Windsor–green’, all the lawn you have. Some ways to reduce Fertilising Your Lawn ‘Greenlees Park’, Santa Anna, Kikuya, ‘Wintergreen’ water use and work in your lawn are: and bluegrass eg. ‘Dawson Creeping Bluegrass’ Cutting down on water use means you can reduce have the lowest water demand. They also have a fertiliser use. Be aware that the directions on fertiliserImproved Watering Practices high drought tolerance. bags often recommend excess nitrogen use. FertilisersThe most water efficient way to manage a lawn is with manure content are ideal, as they help maintain Converting an Unwanted Lawn Areato give it just enough to survive. By watering your the level of organic matter in the soil. Converting unwanted lawn to create a waterlawn less frequently, you are ensuring a deep root Mowing efficient garden or paved entertainment area issystem and a healthy lawn as your grass searches relatively easy. There are two simple ways offor water in the soil. Mowers should be set so that only one third of the killing grass and leaving the area ready: leaf area is removed at any one time. This shouldOnly water when the grass shows signs of stress - • Use a herbicide containing the active leave a blade length of some 10 to 15 mm. Thisa loss of bright colour and a slight wilting. At this ingredient glyphosate. Apply the chemical amount of leaf protects the soil surface and reducesstage you have 24 to 48 hours to give the lawn a using a string guide to ensure you get evaporation loss. Close mowing causes scalping andgood, deep drink of water. (You should look to wet complete coverage. This area can be replanted exposes the base of the grass and its roots to the sun.the soil to a depth of 15 cm - check the depth of soil after 3 weeks.moisture using a moisture probe or skewer.) Soil Improvement • Block out the light to the area by laying aHow much water you apply and how often you Extra organic matter like manure mixed through the thick sheet of black polythene over it. After 3irrigate depends on the type of lawn, type of soil, top 15 cm of soil, will dramatically improve both the to 6 weeks, all the grass will be dead.climate and the time of year. Your irrigation water and nutrient holding capacity of the soil, andprofessional or local nursery will be able to offer The dead thatch can be left as a mulch while new help your lawn to use less water. Unfortunately, theyou advice on how much water to apply and how plants are established; or removed and replaced only real opportunity to do this is before the lawn isoften to water your lawn. with paving for that new entertainment area. established.The right time to water is 5 am to 8 am in the Coring and top dressing a lawn will help incorporatemorning and 5 pm to 8 pm in the evening to organic matter and reduce thatch, improving waterminimise evaporation. absorption.