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 resilience.
- 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.