Get the watering cans out, plan ahead and use a lot of mulch: those are the three main ways to cut down on water use according the owners of one of Orange’s most spectacular gardens as level three water restrictions begin next week.
Josie and Gary Sanders have put eight years of blood, sweat and tears into their property just out of Orange, and living on water tanks and a bore for most of that time means they’re well versed in conserving water.
“The bore does all our veggie patch and fruit trees. When we got a builder to get two 52,000-litre water tanks … we knew it was a dry place,” Mr Sander said.
With level three water restrictions coming into place on Saturday, December 1, people may need to change how they care for their gardens, with hoses and sprinklers being banned the major change.
While the Sanders aren’t on town water, they said using watering cans was a good way to save water regardless of the level of restrictions.
He said not only did it use less water than sprinklers and hoses, but also allowed more care for the plants.
We don’t buy plants that require a lot of water and a lot of maintenance. You don’t want to waste water on something that might flower for a few weeks.Josie Sanders
“It makes you get out there and see how the plants are, check if they’re health, because with a hose or a sprinkler you put it there and forget it and you’re not going to see what’s going on in the garden,” he said.
Mulch was also a major factor, Mrs Sanders said.
“Especially around all the trees, keeping the roots as cool as possible is the thing. If their roots get dry and they get under stress that’s it, especially with summer coming up, but because of the mulch you don’t need to water as much,” she said.
However, Mrs Sanders said the easiest way to save water was by planning ahead and buying plants which didn’t need much water.
“We don’t buy plants that require a lot of water and a lot of maintenance. You don’t want to waste water on something that might flower for a few weeks,” she said.
SANDERS’ THREE MAIN TIPS ...
How you can save water in the garden:
- Mulch will help keep moisture in and heat out and when spread around trees and larger plants will make sure they don’t need much – if any – water at all.
- Plan you garden and don’t plant thirsty plants. Plant natives or roses, lavender, seaside daises, rosemary, box hedges.
- Don’t hose down the deck or verandah – use a blower-vac or broom to clear off the backyard.
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