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There are many ways for you to save the water use for your garden. Here are our top tips:
- Regularly check your outdoor taps, pipes and plumbing fixtures for leaks. Just one dripping tap can waste 2,000 liters a month.
- Try to keep the water level of your pool halfway up the skimmer opening. Overfilling the pool stops the skimmer working efficiently and wastes water.
- A pool cover is a clever way to reduce evaporation and the need to regularly top up your pool's water level. Without a cover, more than half the water in your pool can evaporate over a year.
- Keep all your kitchen scraps, lawn clippings and garden waste - they're perfect for homemade compost, which your soil will love.
- If you need a watering system consider installing a drip irrigation system. It will cut wastage by making sure the water goes only where you need it.
- A good soaking every now and then with a hand-held hose will help make your lawn more drought resistant by encouraging deeper roots.
- To assist the establishment of your new lawn and to minimise the amount of water it requires, it is recommended that you apply a light top dressing to your lawn. Talk to your local nursery or landscape supplier about a suitable weed-free, sand based, organic top dressing mix.
- When planting new garden beds, group plants with similar watering needs together.
- Try not to cut lawns too short. When mowing, cut only the top third of the leaf area, leaving it three centimeters or higher. Reduce water loss even further by saving your lawn clippings to use as mulch on your lawn or garden.
- Use deep mulch and add compost to your soil. These add nutrients and help to retain moisture and reduce evaporation.
- It's best to water the roots and soil around plants rather than spraying the leaves and flowers.
- Watering your garden in the cool of the early morning, or in the evening reduces water loss through evaporation.
- Take some time to relax in your garden and water by hand with a can or trigger nozzle. It's one of the best ways to make sure your plants get just the right amount of water.
- Paths, patios and driveways must never be hosed. Use a broom, rake or outdoor blower or vacuum instead.
- When washing your car, park it on the lawn and use a bucket for washing and rinsing. This way you can save water, as well as water and fertilise your lawn - car shampoos use phosphates that are similar to many fertilisers.
- When deciding on a lawn type, go for slow growing, water saving varieties like Palmetto. They have deep roots for drought tolerance and they don't need mowing as much as other varieties.
- Choosing local native varieties and other water wise plants attracts wildlife and means less maintenance and watering.
- Watering a level garden for longer, but less often, promotes deeper roots and hardier, healthier, drought tolerant plants. Remember to only use a hand-held hose or watering can or install drip irrigation. (About 12 millimeters of water an hour is enough for most sessions.)