Mulching Your Garden - Think Water, Australia


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Mulching Your Garden - Think Water, Australia

  1. 1. Mulching your gardenMulch is an essential tool in creating a low • Spread the mulch evenly across the soil surface to maintenance garden as it provides a protective a depth of 75mm.covering on the soil. • Clear the mulch from around the plant stems to avoid collar rot.Used correctly, it helps to conserve water, keepsweeds at bay, cools the soil in summer, slows run- MAINTAINING MULCHoff, reduces erosion and can improve soil quality. • If the mulch becomes too dry and repels water, rake it to break the surface crust, then water WHICH MULCH? it. This is most likely to occur with small particle Mulches are available in many colours and forms. mulches.So which do you choose? First, decide what look • If weeds appear, remove or spray them before you want to achieve. they can flower and seed. • When removing weeds, be careful not to bring Non bio-degradable mulches soil to the surface as this can encourage weed Stones and pebbles will give a modern look but growth.can reflect the heat. • Top up the mulch periodically as it will generally Wood products decompose over time.Woodchips and pine bark look more natural andare ideal for a casual look, but the finer the chip the WATER RESOURCES STRATEGYmore suited it will be to a formal garden. Think water, act water is the ACT Government’sRapid biodegradable mulches strategy for sustainable water use and management.Straw, lucerne, lawn clippings, compost and It aims to reduce Canberra’s per person watermanure mulches break down quickly and consumption by 12 per cent by 2013 and 25 per centreturn nutrients to the soil, making them ideal by 2023.for vegetable gardens and around Azaleas andRhododendrons. These materials, as they break Think water, act water provides a comprehensivedown quickly and generate heat, should not be framework for a partnership between the community,applied in layers more than 15mm thick. industry and government in managing, using and conserving the water resources of the region.To minimise fire risk, avoid using flammable mulchmaterials against the house—use non-flammable It includes an extensive range of measures, whichmulches, such as pebble mulch, instead. will ensure water supply security for the ACT, protectWhichever you choose remember, your mulch and improve ecological values associated with ourwill only be effective if applied and maintained waterways, and improve the amenity of urban areas.properly. The strategy outlines a range of initiatives to be put inHOW DO I APPLY IT? place to assist Canberrans to increase water efficiency• Remove all weeds before applying. around the home and garden.• Break up the soil surface and water well. Last updated: 20 September 2007
  2. 2. WATER EFFICIENCY INCENTIVE PROGRAMS MORE INFORMATIONYou may wish to consider the home and gardenwater efficiency programs offered as part of the For more information on water issues, waterACT Government’s water strategy, Think water, act efficiency rebates and Think water, act waterwater. initiatives: Ph: 13 22 81Details of all ACT Government water efficiency Email: programs are available from Website: GARDENING WORKSHOPSACTEW Corporation, in conjunction with local,independent specialists, offers waterwisegardening workshops designed to teach you howto have a healthier garden that uses less water. Atthe workshop you will learn about efficient gardenwatering systems and methods, and the benefitsof using mulch and drought tolerant plants.For more information, or to book a place at aworkshop, call ACTEW’s Water Conservation Officeon 6248 3131.XERISCAPE GARDENSVisit the ActewAGL Xeriscape Gardens at HeysenStreet, Weston to learn more about water-efficientgardening. The gardens are open to the publicat selected times on weekends during Springand Summer (excluding the Christmas/New Yearperiod), or by appointment.To check details of opening times and events atthe gardens, visit the ActewAGL website or call 6242 1191. Printed on recycled paper F00553 - C