Knowing a few basic tips and tricks about when and how much to water plants, and what kind of plants are best suited to the Australian climate can help you reduce unnecessary water consumption and keep your water accounts lower.
- Avoid watering gardens in hot windy weather
- Water gardens in the early mornings and evenings
- Most shrubs and young trees need water only once per week, even in warm weather
- Used bath and shower water can be bucketed onto garden plants
- Collect rainwater for garden use in tanks and containers
- Upturned bottles and cans with small holes can act as slow release drip irrigation to the base of shrubs and trees
- Timers can help forgetful people to turn off watering systems, sprinklers and hoses
- Drip and microspray watering systems can use less water than older type sprinklers
- Wash your car on the lawn and fertilise at the same time – car shampoos use phosphates that are similar to many fertilisers.
- Water efficiently by using watering cans or trigger nozzle hoses and water only those areas that need it.
Planting and general tips
- Keep your lawns healthy and maintain them at a height of 6.5 centimetres. Taller grass holds water better, and a healthy lawn will choke out weeds
- Plant Australian native plants that can survive drought conditions in your garden
- Use mulch to reduce evaporation in the garden
- Shade reduces moisture loss from the ground so keep plants dense and bushy by pruning them after flowering
- Sweep and broom paths, driveways and paved areas instead of hosing
- Playing under the sprinkler or hose in summer can use heaps of water
- When planting new garden beds group plants with similar needs so they all get the right amount of water.