During the warmer months we often want to make sure that our gardens are still being cared for, while simultaneously trying to save water. If the hot weather is causing water restrictions in your area and you still want to use enough to keep your garden in check, without causing more environmental issues, you’ve come to the right place.
During the warmer months we often want to make sure that our gardens are still being cared for, while simultaneously trying to save water. If the hot weather is causing water restrictions in your area and you still want to use enough to keep your garden in check, without causing more environmental issues, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our favourite tips for saving water while gardening in the summer months.
1. Help pot plants stay cool
If you have terracotta pots with plants in them, these plants are actually vulnerable to overheating. If they are placed in saucers and the saucers are filled with water, this can lead to root rot and also encourage mosquito breeding. Instead, fill the saucers up with sand and keep the sand moist. The roots will then stay cool and your plants will thank you for it!
2. Water at the right time of day
Be sure to check on water restrictions in your area, and if there are time restrictions in place. When watering your garden, be sure to water your plants at the right time of day. It’s best to water them when it’s slightly cooler, so try to do so either early in the morning or late afternoon before dusk. Allow some time if doing it in the afternoon to give the foliage time to dry out in the sunset, so as to avoid mildew and other fungi from growing and attacking your leaves.
3. Add nutrients to your water
If you cannot water your plants much during the warmer months due to restrictions, or if you want to save on your water usage, try and add some plant nutrients to the water you’re using. You can buy a few products on the market that can be linked to your hose so that the fertiliser and nutrients are added to the water you use. This is an easy and convenient way of looking after your plants with minimal water usage.
4. Check on your hoses
If you have many hoses and irrigation systems around the home, be sure to check them for holes and damage. If your hose is getting a little old and springing leaks here and there while still on, it’s best to remove it and buy a new one. The leaks will of course lead to excess water usage. When you’re finished using your hoses, be sure to turn them off at the tap to stop them from continuing to run and possibly leaking water.
5. Use the right soil
Be sure to check on your soil and add nutrients to it if you need to. Your soil needs to have rich, organic compost added to it, which will help trap moisture and encourage healthy growth of your plants. This means then that you shouldn’t have to water your plants as much or as often, which is very handy in drought season. Be sure to add mulch to your gardens to stop weeds from taking over your garden beds and stealing the precious water and moisture from your other plants.
6. Choose heat tolerant vegetables/plants
If you want to continue growing vegetables during the hot months, be sure to choose veggies and plants that are tolerant to the heat and if need be, lack of moisture. There are many different vegetables and plants such as lavender, sage, thyme, rosemary, and asparagus (once established) that can tolerate hot climates and will still grow very well. This means that they’ll be able to withstand conditions that may be prone to them in the hotter months if you can’t water them as often as you’d like to.
7. Install a rainwater tank
If possible, using a rainwater tank for your outdoor plants and vegetables is a great way to conserve water and use some of the stormwater that tends to be around during the hot summer months.
8. Wash your car on the lawn
One of the oldest tricks in the book is to hand wash your car on your lawn. By doing this you’ll be able to save water by hand washing and using a bucket (as opposed to just hosing your car down), plus you’ll be able to water your lawn and keep it healthy while it’s hot during the summer months. When you do hose your car down you’ll also be able to splash some water on any surrounding plants.
9. Provide water to fauna
Although this may not sound like a water saving idea, it can actually in turn help your garden to need less water over time. Provide water to birds, bees, butterflies, and other insects by leaving some out for them in the hot months. You can install a birdbath in your yard if you have room. Not only will you be helping the birds to stay cool and hydrated, but you’ll have a lovely sight of birds in your yard. These birds will help keep your garden healthy and happy and aid in pollination. Water features can also create microclimates, which aids in helping the area stay cool, provide moisture, and help plants and veggies to cope with the heat.
10. Plan your planting
If you’re planting vegetables and plants, it’s a good idea to group those with similar watering requirements together. Instead of planting veggies in rows, another idea is to plant them together in almost squared-off sections. Keep vegetables that require lots of water together in one section, and those who demand less watering in another section. That way you can focus your watering schedule on those that need it without worrying about overwatering plants that require less water