Did you know that the average household uses around 60% of their water in the garden? This all depends on the style of your garden and the plants water demand. Incorporating waterwise garden design principles and following some tips on how to reduce water usage in your garden will help your household to reduce its water consumption.
Waterwise Gardening Design Ideas
- Create zones in your garden based on plant watering needs. This means separating high water demand plants such as vegetables from plants that require minimal water such as natives.
- Choose a garden style that has low water demand, such as:
a. A native style garden ideal for the Perth climate which will additionally attract birds and other wildlife.
b. A coastal garden, which is full of hardy plants that can withstand strong winds and don’t require significant volumes of water.
c. A mediterranean style garden, containing a combination of colourful and productive hardy plants.
- A typical style garden as recommended above should thrive on two irrigation watering days per week in summer and half that in spring and autumn.
Garden Watering Tips
- On your watering day (see link below), ensure you are watering before 9am or after 6pm to minimise any evaporation and allow the plants to use most of the water.
- Hand water if necessary, this allows to target those more demanding plants and their root system directly.
- Make sure your irrigation system’s settings are up to standard by programming the system correctly and ensure the rain sensor is working.
- A typical irrigation system runs between 13-16 minutes to achieve the required 10mm of water for your garden to remain healthy; however experiment with your system how much time is needed to achieve this amount.
- Good quality soil in your garden is important to retain as much water as possible; before you plant a new garden, add clays and compost to the top 30cm of soil for optimal water retention.
- Apply mulch to your garden beds as it can greatly reduce evaporation and additionally improve the soil, reduce weed growth and improve the appearance of your garden, this can save you up to 20% of water for your garden needs.
Visit Water Corporation’s website to find your watering days using the last digit of your house / lot number. Watering days apply from September to May every year, with a sprinkler switch off every June – August due to our winter rainfall.
Water Corporation. (2021). Waterwise. https://www.watercorporation.com.au/Waterwise (Accessed 23 July 2021).
Image source: Native Plant Project. (n.d.). A backyard big on heart. https://nativeplantproject.com.au/a-small-garden-big-on-heart/ (Accessed 31 August 2021).