Water smart during heatwaves

Posted by John Zeaiter on

The main topic of conversation throughout much of the country this week has been the heatwave. Whether chatting at barbecues, at pubs or coffee shops, in the office or bumping into folk in the street, the chat has been heatwaves, bushfires and when the cool change will arrive.

Extreme heatwaves, such as those recently experienced in South Australia and Victoria,are of course, a time for implementing survival plans and looking out for elderly neighbours, relatives and friends.

It's a time for getting the kids down to swimming pools and beaches and implementing bushfire survival plans if you live near the fire danger.

However it's also a time for thinking about how best to care for the garden in the withering heat. Intense heatwaves coupled with drying winds means your garden needs extra water however more watering means possibly running afoul of your local council's water restrictions. It means watering more sensibly. In the Canberra Times claimed that much of the overhead watering done by Canberra residents had been wasted. ''For non-vegetables, ornamental gardens and lawns, once a week is more than enough if it's slow deep watering", the Times quoted Adjunct professor of landscape architecture at the University of Canberra Dianne Firth as saying. This is sensible watering advice which will help your garden get through a heatwave and the long, hot summers this country experiences.

The other method to help retain water is deep mulching. "Put it on in the evenings and then test how deep it's gone down - 10 centimetres means you won't have to water again for at least a week, maybe two weeks. And if the garden beds are well mulched, that sort of water can do for a month,'' said Prof. Firth.

As Australia is the driest continent on the planet and we appear to be entering a global warming phase that will make water preservation even more of an issue, it will pay to implement wise watering techniques throughout the year.

For further advice try these sites:  Do you have any other clever water saving tips for the garden? Perhaps you'd like to share water saving sites with other readers.

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