Owning and tending to a beautiful garden can require the use of a LOT of water. Luckily, there are plenty of things we can do to reduce water use and waste. Here are 8 tips to creating a perfect water-wise garden.
- Plan(t) carefully. By planning before you plant, you can save yourself a lot of stress in your gardening future. Pick areas to plant in your yard according to sun, shade, soil and wind. Choose plants that naturally need less water and group plants together according to their water needs. Also know how you will get the plants their water before you plant – will you need to carry water to a back corner in your yard?
- Switch up your soil. Adding organic matter to your soil can have a huge effect on the amount of water needed. Soils are made up of different sized particles. If the majority of the particles are large, like sand, the soil will absorb much more water, much more quickly, than if it was made of smaller particles, like clay.
- Mulch retains water. Around an 8 inch layer of (organic) mulch can drastically reduce water needs in a garden by reducing evaporation and blocking parched weeds. Organic mulches have the ability to retain water in themselves and raise the level of humidity around your plants. Organic mulches are made of leaves, straw, hay and grass. The inorganic mulches are things like rubber tree rings and the ‘pro weed mat’ – go organic, they’re much better for a water wise garden.
- Routine maintenance on your plants keeps them healthier, and when they’re healthier they require less water than when they’re thirsty and/or distressed. Simple maintenance aspects like pruning, pest-control and thinning can ensure your plants remain healthier and in need of less moisture.
- Use rain water. Rain water is unchlorinated, natural and free. Using rain water is the best choice for your plants and for you. Use barrels to collect the rains water during storms or a cistern to collect directly from the downspouts. Or opt for some rain water tanks specifically for use in the garden.
- Consider losing some grass. Reducing your lawn can save you a tremendous amount of water. Turf grass is extremely thirsty and requires a lot of work to maintain. Reducing your garden and getting rid of some grass can help you save a lot of water. Consider hanging some low-maintenance plants and using mulch, instead.
- Water in the a.m. Watering your plants and garden early in the morning seriously reduces evaporation, therefore saving you water. Early irrigation also deters pests like snails and molds.
- Plant some native plants. Opting for plants that grow in drier climates means that they will require less direct watering from you.
Contact Jim’s Mowing for all of your gardening needs on %%PHONE_NUMBER%% or book online for a free no-obligation quote!
Important Tips on Pruning Plants
To keep your plants in shape, regular pruning is required whether your plants are grown inside or outside. Be careful though, over-pruning can be hazardous so it’s extremely important to know which plants to prune, when to prune and how. It is best to prune fruiting and flowering plants whilst they are not in bloom, however other plants such as shrubs and trees which blossom in the spring time, require the old buds to be pruned in order to blossom new ones. Some plants need pruning all year round, so it can be a little perplexing at first, just keep in mind that the worst case scenario is that your plant or plants may generate a reduced amount of fruits and flowers.
Pruning can feel like a daunting task if you are a beginner gardener. To make the process easier, make sure that you possess the correct equipment. Here is a list of basic tools that will aid any gardener make their garden look its best.
- Loppers – long handles with short sturdy blades – used for pruning thick branches that are hard to reach
- Saw – needed for thick branches (15 cm +)
- Shears – appear to be heavy duty scissors – useful for trimming branches and leaves that are not so thick
- Hand Pruners – short thick blades – helpful for cutting thinner branches and stems (up to 3cm)
It is more practical to have all these basic tools on hand prior to commencing pruning and the better the quality the better the job they will do and the longer they will last. It is imperative to ensure all tools are cleaned properly after each use as some soil can be full of plant diseases and you really don’t want to transfer them onto other plants.
Flowering Trees, Shrubs and Vines
These three very different plant categories need pruning at all different times throughout the year.
Flowering Trees and Shrubs
Flowering trees and shrubs normally blossom should be pruned mid-autumn as they bloom in spring. They can be pruned earlier if they have grown predominantly large but beware, you do not want to lose too many blooms in the process.
Clematis blooms on its own timetable, but generally it is best to prune them back after they have completed blossoming. This will ensure that they have room to continue growing for the next bloom. To guarantee a long life, vines need appropriate pruning, so it’s vital to pay close attention to the state of the Clematis.