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Creating a waterwise garden

Posted on August 21, 2014 by Potter & Rest

Water is not an infinite resource, yet it is essential for life. Man is unable to survive many days without it but fortunately plants can survive much longer.

Many garden owners still waste water especially by using a hose pipe or sprinkler, which if left on overnight, can use as much water as a family of four uses in a fortnight.

Remember you can get better results by using less water more effectively, in the knowledge that you are helping to protect the local environment for today and future generations.

Mulch Magic – Retain moisture and control water-using-weeds with mulches of grass mowings, bark, manure, straw, bracken or gravel over polythene and even old carpets.

Soil Sense – Avoid surface compaction to allow water penetration and refrain from bringing moist soil to the surface by digging. Working organic matter into the soil improves water retention.

Water Wisely – Sprayers waste water, as does sprinkling it on foliage and surfaces. Direct water to roots where it is needed. Install water butts to collect rainwater. Use a watering can, channels and ridges, or trickle irrigation and seep hoses on a timer.

Pot Points – Use non-porous pots or line porous ones. Large containers require less water than the equivalent volume in many small containers.

Grass Guide – Reduce frequency of mowing and increase height of cut during dry periods. Accept that lush green lawns in hot dry summers are unnatural, and grass will readily recover when rain comes.

Plant Choice – Choose plants which do not require large amounts of water to survive. Avoid ‘water guzzlers’ such as those with large or soft leaves, especially in sunny and exposed sites.

Things to remember:

1. Water with care and invest in an irrigation system, which could save not only water but time – when contacting firms ask for advice.

2. Mulch to keep weeds at bay and evaporation to a minimum.

3. Invest in a water butt and make sure you get full use from the water it collects.

4. Use water-retaining granules in tubs and baskets.

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