Become 'Water Resilient' this Summer
Yes, we have had an amazing winter and our dams have been nearing capacity around the Western Cape. But this does not mean we can revert back to our wasteful ways when it comes to how we use water in our garden. We are quick to forget that in South Africa, watering your garden was once illegal due to water restrictions. Crazy hey? We all have a part to play when it comes to our gardens.
A bit of thought and care when watering your garden will save water and reduce water bills. Here’s how to become more water resilient in your garden.
- MULCH! One of the best methods of retaining moisture in your garden. Lay down a thick layer (approx. 7cm) of mulch between your plants. Mulch helps keep the soil cool and reduces water evaporation, run-off, soil erosion and the growth of weeds. For more info on mulching read our recent article: Got Mulch?
Adopt these optimal irrigation techniques
- Watering thoroughly, but less frequently.
- Avoid watering on hot, windy days.
- Limit watering times to early morning or late afternoon.
- Group plants according to their water needs. Thirsty plants need regular watering so its best to keep them together so you can concentrate your irrigation in one spot. Pro tip: position these high water zones close to your house for ease of access.
- Grow water wise plants. Indigenous, drought resistant plants have adapted to our local conditions over time & require little maintenance once established - Avoid being the neighbour watering their Proteas at midday. Here is a great list of local plants to suit various conditions and garden needs. The Approved Plant List, courtesy of Schonenburg Estate.
- Remove invasive alien plants where possible. They often take up more water (and space) compared to indigenous species. Common alien species in the Western Cape include Rooikrans, Black Wattle, Port Jackson and Pine. Here is a great article on how to get remove invasive plants: How to Remove Invasive Plants
- Recycle your grey water. Regardless of water restrictions or not, keep those buckets in your showers & basins! This is the simplest water saving hack out. An old 25l bucket works wonders. Simply re-use the water in your garden for guilt free gardening.
Those are our top tips to help your garden thrive during a hot & windy summer in the Western Cape. If you have any other tips and tricks you would like us to share, feel free to send us an email or simply chat to us on social media!