Reducing the water your garden needs

Why reduce your water needs

Wherever one gardens reducing the volume of water ones garden requires is becoming a priority for a number of reasons.

Firstly world wide water is becoming a scarcer and more expensive commodity.

Secondly water is becoming more expensive.

Thirdly increases in average temperatures and the length of periods of drought have been increasing in many Mediterranean areas.

Fourthly more and more houses are being built on soil with poor water absorbing and holding power.

Fifthly many new plants offered in garden centres are thirsty plants.

 

Nine practical ways of reducing the water needs of your garden

From the many practical ways of reducing the water needs in your garden  described in our books we regard the following actions as among the most important.

  • Increase the percentage of water holding organic matter in the top thirty centimetres of soil in flower and vegetable beds and top fifty centimetres in preparing planting holes for trees.
  • Add TerraCottem soil improvement gel to soils and composts in the garden and in containers. Correctly used this can reduce water needs by fifty or more percent.
  • Plant more drought resistant and deep rooted plants.
  • Plant in the autumn or early spring to allow roots to develop before the hot summer months.
  • Encourage deep roots to develop by watering deep and not shallowly. Often a once a week soaking rather than a shallow daily watering is more effective.
  • Plant close so as to give achieve a hundred percent ground cover to minimise water loss by surface evaporation. In the ealy days of planting up a new garden it is worth accepting that some ground cover plants are sacrificial for in time they will be smothered and eventually killed by stronger growing plants.
  • When first planting plants mulch around and between them to further minimise the extent of water loss by evaporation.
  • Use pathways and areas of stone chippings over plastic to move rainwater to where it is most needed.
  • Collect rainwater off as many roofs as possible or have flower beds or raised beds under the eves to catch and use  all rain water.
  • Have at least low walls around the entire property to ensure that water is not lost to neighbouring land during heavy downpours.
  • Each of the above actions can help reduce your water needs. Do all and cumulatively they could reduce your water bills and plant risks considerably.