Australia, for the most part, is a hot and arid country prone to long dry spells and drought. Summers can be long and oppressive, and rainy periods feel few and far between. Interestingly, only 10% of the country is covered by named deserts but about 35% suffers similarly dry conditions. In short, water conservation is a very important issue for us all.
Here are our tips for keeping every plant’s thirst quenched and your water bill under control.
Lots of plants don’t need daily watering, especially indoor plants. Do some research into your plants, and think about the temperature/season.
Water at the right time
Watering in the evening or early morning is best. Watering in the middle of a hot day means most of the water will be evaporated. The heat might even “boil” the roots of your plants.
Water the right way
Water timers on drip irrigation, watering cans, seep hoses, spikes, spray bottles and hand watering with trigger nozzles are all more precise methods than turning the sprinklers on the whole yard. The water needs to get down to the roots of the plant, and many don’t like to get their leaves wet.
Mulch, compost & water trays
Put down a healthy layer of mulch to stop water evaporating and soil drying out, but not more than 3-7cm. Compost dug through the soil will help it retain moisture. Trays will help pot plants stay moist and humid.
Group plants by thirst
Some plants need more water than others, so group them together by thirst. This will help you organise your garden while saving both time and water.
Rainwater tanks, water used to wash or boil vegetables, grey water, etc. is perfect for plants and might even contain extra nutrients for them! Using natural cleaning products can help make more water reusable too.
Where to go for inspiration
There are many plants that don’t need a lot of water. Jade trees, lavender, cactus are but a few! Most botanical gardens have desert or drought-resistant sections and any botanical garden in your city shares the same climate, so you can see what works together.
If in doubt, check in on watering tips and geographically-appropriate varieties with your local Plant Life Balance accredited nursery for some expert advice.