Environment Centre Hawke's Bay is operated by Sustaining Hawke's Bay Trust
As the weather heats up and the hours of sunlight lengthen
towards summer, there are a few things we can do to use water more efficiently
in our backyards.
Install a rainwater tank now and store spring
rain for summer drinks for your plants. Rainwater can also be treated and used
for drinking in an emergency, so it’s also a good idea for general household
When watering your garden, promote more drought
tolerant plants by watering thoroughly but infrequently. This encourages plants
to reach down with their roots and access damp soil well below the surface. Doing
a quick water daily with a hose or sprinkler dampens only the top few
centimetres of soil and promotes root growth near the surface where it’s most
likely to dry out.
Water just the plants that need it and not the
soil in between. A watering can is often a good choice to apply water directly to
the base of plants. This technique also helps to reduce weed growth.
Protect the soil from excess sunlight (which
heats it up and dries it out), by providing a thick layer of mulch. Some
examples are peastraw, compost and rotted animal manure, but there are many
others that work well too.