As the hottest part of the year approaches, warmer and longer days can wreak havoc on your garden and plants. Across the nation we have multiple climates, so depending where you live can have an effect on how you care for your garden while being water conscious.
The Mediterranean climate that stretches across areas like South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia results in hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Compared to the tropical influenced climate spanning through areas like Northern Queensland and the Northern Territory, that’s hot and humid in summer and warm and dry in the winter.
If you live in an area that has regular rain through summer, you may not need to water your garden at all or minimally across the wet months. However, if you live in an area with long hot and dry summers, we’ve got some tips below on how you can water efficiently to conserve water.
Choose when to plant
Try not to plant large areas when it is your hottest season. Planting while there is still moisture in the soil will reduce the stress on your plants and will require less watering to get them established. Young plants especially need watering until they’re established. Trees can be encouraged to develop deep roots by giving them a deep watering, less often. Look up a good tree guide (or talk to your local nursery) about how much and how often. You can design your watering system around the needs of each plant/tree by working out the flow of the system.
Using a slow soaking tube like the soaker hose, especially on slopes, helps the water to reach deep without run off. Products like the Drip Eze in-line drip tube sits just on the surface under light mulch and will work well if you have rich or sandy soil. Sprays are another option that can be considered if you’re looking to reach a broader area and penetrate coarse mulch. Prepare your garden beds Have you ever looked at a garden that has plants covering the ground and noticed that the other plants in the garden tend to look strong and lush? Ground cover plants can help keep the roots of other shrubs and trees cool and also prevent the soil from drying out. We also recommend placing mulch across areas as it helps to reduce evaporation and will prevent your soil surface from drying out and becoming water repellent. As well as enriching your soil with organic matter to help to retain moisture in garden beds.
Watch the weather
Watering in the cool of the night or early in the morning can help stop water from being evaporated as quickly. Finally, keep an eye on the weather forecast. If rain is coming in your area, you may be able to hold off the watering or if a heatwave is coming you can provide your plants with a deep soak to help them get through the dry stretch.
As we’re about to enter an unusual period where rainfall (and therefore water storage) is unpredictable, some Australian states have introduced stronger water restrictions. Check here for a broad outline and for water restrictions and guidelines specific to your Territory or State use the links below: