082 908 7510 (Premicel)
Greener Tidings Garden Centre,
c/o School rd and Munnik ave (Duiwelskloof Road)
Public holidays: 9am-5pm
The promise of our wet November and Festive Season has finally arrived. After all this heat , what a welcome storm we had this morning!
It was just enough to settle the dust and give our gardens and water reservoirs a bit of a breather.
Having said that, we would still like gardeners to know that we need to continue preserving water and make every effort not to waste.
This newsletter is going to give you a lot of insight as to how to go about conserving water in the garden.
We hope you find something that you are able to implement in your own household and garden.
- Plant a tree – the fact is that any tree is going to provide shade and cool a garden down! All a tree needs for the first year is a bucket or 2 of bath/shower water once a week
- Invest in a rain guage and measure the rainfall so as to determine how much water your garden really needs after a storm
- Use bath water to water your pot plants and veggie/herb gardens
- Wherever possible, use plants that grow naturally in your region and locally, and create different water-use zones by grouping plants with similar water needs. You can still have exotic plants, but try and choose those that need minimal water. Plants with hairy leaves (lamb's ear), grey leaves (lavender) and needle-like leaves (rosemary) are able to withstand wind and drought.
- Retain moisture by mixing in generous quantities of compost Kraal manure. A blanket of mulch spread 5-6cm thick around plants will keep the soil cool and moist, smother weeds that compete with plants for water and nutrients, and insulate plants from extreme temperature. Remember that mulch eventually turns into compost, so mulch your garden at least every 6-8 months.
- Organic mulches can consist of coarse compost, shredded bark, cocoa peat, nutshells or pine needles. Bark chips are also suitable and are decorative and long-lasting.
- While lawns can have their place in a garden, particularly as a play area for children and animals, try to reduce this area and replace with ground covers, gravel or paving. Bear in mind that hard landscaping means that water cannot soak into the ground, while gravel allows water to be absorbed into the soil. Before spreading gravel, level the area and lay down a weed-guard.
- Paving can be softened if occasional spaces are left for hardy, water wise plants, such as arctotis, bulbine, festuca, gazania, lavender, rosemary, strelitzia, succulents and verbena.
- When mowing your lawn, adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn shades roots and holds soil moisture better than if it is closely clipped. Choose shrubs and groundcovers instead of grass, for hard-to-water areas, like steep slopes and isolated strips. Another good practice is to aerate your lawn at least once a year, so that water can reach the roots, rather than just run off the surface.
- Water your garden thoroughly once week, instead of with daily sprinklings, so that water penetrates and encourages deep rooting. This also increases drought tolerance. In small gardens, watering by hand is the most efficient way of making sure each plant receives the correct amount of water, and so water wastage is reduced. It also allows the gardener to check the condition of plants.
- Invest in a water tank for collecting rainwater off roofs for use in dry periods.
- Grow plants that like moisture on the south and east side of buildings, and drought tolerant plants on north and west facing areas. Group plants that need the most water near the house and in containers on the patio for easy access.
- If you are unable to get a water tank, collect rainwater in buckets, from washing the dishes, showers, and bathtubs for irrigating the garden. If using sprinklers (during the specified watering times), adjust them so that only your lawn is watered and not the house, paving, stones, or the road. Use drip irrigation for shrubs and trees, to apply water directly to the roots where it’s needed. This allows for slow release of water, and deep-watering. Don’t water your lawn on windy days when most of the water blows away or evaporates.
- Remember to check your sprinkler system valves periodically for leaks and keep the sprinkler heads in good shape. Then check all your taps and hosepipes for washer damage and replace those that need it.
- When washing your pets, wash them outdoors in an area of your lawn that needs water.
- Use sprinklers that deliver big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller water drops and mist often evaporate before they hit the ground.
- Healthy plants are happy plants, so don’t forget to fertilise - this will strengthen plants’ cell walls, which means that plants need less water and will withstand extreme temperatures.
- If you need to wash your car, wash it on on the lawn