10 ways to save water in your garden this summer

In the midst of the warmer months, it's a good idea to pay attention to your water consumption.

In the midst of the warmer months, it's a good idea to pay attention to your water consumption.

Simple changes can reduce water use so none of this precious resource is wasted.

10 tips for water-wise gardening

1. Irrigation systems are useful under dry eaves and in raised planters where the soil dries out faster, but they can become unnecessary once new plants are established.

Save rainwater for use in the garden.

Save rainwater for use in the garden.

2. Hoses and watering cans allow you to water individual plants more easily. Buy the best-quality kink-resistant hose you can afford and make sure it's long enough to reach all corners of your garden.

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3. Let lawns grow longer in summer and remove the catcher so the clippings act as a natural mulch. 

4. Tolerate a brown lawn in summer or sow dwarf clover to retain a green look through the drier months.

5. Hoeing and cultivating the soil in summer encourages evaporation so try to leave your soil alone. Removing large weeds is vital, however, to reduce water loss.

6. Move containers out from under dry eaves to a slightly shaded spot through the hotter months. Leave the soil level in containers well below the lip of the pots to allow for generous watering. 

7. Hedges and fences can reduce wind and create shade – perfect conditions for water conservation. Pergolas and trees also create shade and help conserve moisture.

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8. Deliver water slowly by using a soaker hose or even a dribbling hose at the plant's base. That way the water goes to the plant's roots where it is needed.

9. Stop water evaporating from the soil at all costs. Mulch, mulch and more mulch is what you need – the more you can lay, the better. 

10. Cut down on the number of potted plants you have over summer, use larger pots and mix in a water-holding gel or granules.

Seasonal gardening advice from Get Growing, the weekly digital magazine from the NZ Gardener magazine's team of experts. Sign up here.

 - NZ Gardener

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