Revamping or redesigning any existing garden to make it more water efficient can save a considerable amount of water and energy. The key is to carefully assess the garden’s needs.
The aim in redesigning the garden to make it water efficient is to keep the amount of water you use to a minimum and also make sure there is only enough applied to the garden to adequately water plants to give healthy growth.
- Prepare a plan showing the existing garden.
- Prepare a new overall design and layout. Make sure it is designed to suit your needs, incorporating water efficient design in respect of current and future family needs, paving, lawn and surfacing of areas, using features and microclimates to your advantage.
- Assess the value of all the existing plants and features in the context of your preferred design and layout and whether they are suitable in a water efficient garden. It will be obvious that some plants and features will have to be removed or relocated.
- Prepare a final layout showing existing features to be retained along with new plantings and new features.
- Develop water zones for planting - grouping plants with similar water needs together in zones having regard for the requirements of existing trees and shrubs.
- Effective and efficient watering - ensure any existing system is water efficient and know when to water for the best results. Water Wise Rules will apply from 1 July 2014. Under Water Wise Rules watering of lawns and gardens with a sprinkler, irrigation system or trigger nozzle hose, is permitted any day before 10am or after 4pm to avoid the heat of the day.
- Analyse then improve the soil to make it more water retentive.
- Mulching - mulch the soils and garden beds to retain moisture and give optimum conditions for plant growth.
- Plant choice - choose plants for your garden that suit your needs, soil, climate, and the microclimates of your block.
- Maintenance practices- ensure good health of all your plants by mulching feeding, pruning, watering and weeding effectively.