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Improve watering practices
By watering more effectively you can reduce the amount of water you use in your garden and save money on your water bills.
- Keep your garden healthy and flourishing
- Ensure your garden is water efficient, helping to save you money
- Help keep water in our rivers and wetlands
At a glance
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- Ease 2
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- If you can, use recycled water or rainwater instead of tap water for your garden. Recycled water can be water from a greywater system or a simple recycling system like a bucket in the shower and a hose to empty the bath.
- You might be eligible for rebates or other assistance to help with the cost of installing a rainwater tank or a greywater system.
Check your local water restrictions to make sure you can water your garden.
- Water early in the morning or late in the evening as less water evaporates at these times.
- Encourage your plants to put down deep roots by giving them the occasional deep soaking rather than a frequent light watering. This will also help them to survive better during dry times.
- Use a hose with a trigger nozzle (in most states this is a water restrictions requirement) and water the roots of your plants instead of the leaves. Water gradually so that the water has time to soak in. Flooding one spot at a time can cause run-off and make your soil water resistant.
- You can also get more water to your plants by weeding your garden and providing mulch. Weeds take water away from other plants.
Automatic watering systems
Automatic watering systems that are poorly designed and inefficient may use more water than hand-held hoses and sprinklers. Automatic systems set to turn on regardless of weather conditions and soil moisture content will waste water. Systems not adjusted to seasonal needs may deliver water too fast, resulting in run-off, or supply more water than plants require.
- Ensure your automatic watering system is set up correctly by following the instructions, doing some research or contacting your local garden irrigation expert.
- Check your automatic watering system regularly to make sure that it's watering the right plants. Plants might have grown or died since the system was put in and the water might not be getting to where it's needed. Also regularly check for leaks, holes in the piping and that none of the dripper or sprinkler heads have come off.
- Drip irrigation is the most efficient automatic watering system as water gets right to the roots and less water is lost to evaporation and wind.
- Adjust the timing and frequency of watering for the season. You might not need to water at all if there has been recent rain or your plants are all dormant in winter.
- Soil moisture sensors can be an excellent addition to your automatic watering system. The sensors switch off the system when it rains and adjust the watering time according to what your soil needs.
- If you are fertilising your plants, try to use organic liquid fertilisers or compost instead of dry fertilisers.
- Add water-saving crystals to your soil when you plant new plants. They hold hundreds of times their weight in water, so use a big bucket and a small amount of crystals the first time you mix them with water.
- Soil wetting agents can help water to penetrate the soil more deeply.
- Talk to your local nursery or other gardeners about how else you can help your soil and plants.
- Use a broom to clean the outside of your house, your paths and your driveways instead of the hose.
- When your dog needs a wash, do it on the lawn and choose a different spot for the rinse.
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