#ISaveWater – 6 simple ways to make your garden super water-wise

The forecasts surrounding the effects of #ClimateChange over the next three decades are, to understate the matter, extremely worrying. Many areas in South Africa, and around the world, will be subjected to heavy rains that cause dangerous flooding and immense damage to the environment (not to mention the threat to human safety). This type of rain will substantially erode precious top soil, and is of little use to farmers who need rain to seep into the deeper levels of agricultural land. On the opposite end of the scale, dry and hot areas are set to become increasingly arid, experiencing unpredictable and low levels of rainfall along with higher temperatures. Indeed, with a growing population, our beautiful country has already been identified as a nation that’ll face dangerous levels of water scarcity.

Watch – Builders’ favourite green thumb, Tanya Visser, offers some top tips on how to save water in your garden

At Builders, we strongly believe that it’s up to us to adapt our water-related behaviour given these predictions. Our individual actions can make a considerable difference in both the present and in the future. Another incentive, however, also exists – in the 2016/17 financial year, some municipalities increased water tariffs by a whopping 30 percent. And this may just be the beginning.

Bearing all of the above in mind, we’d like to suggest some truly hassle-free and easy-to-implement tricks to ensure that your #ISaveWater garden is as water-wise as possible.

The Berg Vygie, African Daisy and Lion’s Tail (or Lion’s Ear) are beautiful and thrive in low water conditions

  • Turning to water-wise plants and Xerophytes (plants that are highly adapted to low water environments) needn’t mean a visually boring garden. Quite the opposite, in fact. Many plants that economise on the use of water are stunningly beautiful and offer an incredible variety of colours.
  • Plants that have similar water demands should be grouped together. This way, wastage is avoided by not over-watering resilient plants that are planted among thirstier species.
  • Plants and lawns, surprisingly, can be trained to consume less water. By reducing the frequency and length of watering, plant and lawn roots will naturally grow deeper into the soil where more moisture is likely to be stored.
  • Weeds are problematic in many ways, but especially so when it comes to water consumption. It’s important to remove weeds when they’re still young, and removal includes getting rid of their stubborn roots.

Nozzles, drip irrigation and timers can all help prevent wastage

  • Try to water your garden in the early morning and in the evening to avoid unnecessary evaporation (Be mindful of your local water restrictions). Fit hosepipes with “turn-off nozzles” that allow you to cut supply instantly. These can also be used to create a wide-diameter spray that drenches top soil slowly, lessening surface run-off.  Additionally, use timers to ensure that even if you momentarily forget about your sprinkler/irrigation systems, precious litres won’t be spent. Lastly, consider drip irrigation: it supplies water to the area immediately surrounding each plant’s roots.
  • Mulch is a wonderful way to both protect moisture in the top soil and, if it’s composed of organic matter, fertilise the soil with vital nutrients like nitrogen. Non-organic items like pebbles and stones are also classified as mulch; and like compost, wood chips and other garden waste, they slow surface runoff (allowing water to best penetrate the top soil) and protect against wind and sunlight, thereby minimising evaporation.

Watch – Some more beautiful low water demand plant suggestions from Builders

There’s no doubt that the various above-mentioned methods will significantly reduce your monthly water usage (and your utility bill, too). Nice.

To learn more about which techniques will best suit your #ISaveWater needs and specific garden, visit your nearest Builders and have a chat with our friendly staff. Alternatively, browse and shop online here.

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