Mulch and clever watering patterns are the keys to saving your garden with stricter water restrictions in Orange’s sizzling summer.
That’s the advice gardening experts have for residents who are seeing their flowers and plants shrivel up, lawns go brown and soil turn rock hard amid days of above 30-degree heat.
Water restrictions in Orange have moved to level 3 which bans the use of sprinklers and restricts the use of hand-held hoses.
Propagation specialist with the Friends of Orange Botanical Gardens and keen gardener, Chris Mills, said watering later at night or early morning was advisable.
He said a “good deep water once a week” was more valuable than regular light watering.
Mr Mills said each plant should receive 1-2 litres of water a time and larger plants needed 5-10 litres.
He suggested dividing your garden into sections and devoting your watering to each area once a week.
Mr Mills said gardeners could use soaker hoses to supplement the watering of each area between their weekly soakings.
The deeper the water goes the less evaporation happens.Chris Mills, gardener
He said it was important water on plants went well below the surface.
“The deeper the water goes, the less evaporation happens,” he said.
Mr Mills said gardens were still battling the consequences of dry winters.
“Because we have had two or three dry winters the soil moisture is very low. It has depleted quite seriously,” he said.
Mr Mills said people should also look to planting more natives as they were “more adaptive”.
Thomson’s Garden Centre owner Matt O’Malley said demand for mulch from Orange gardeners was rising.
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“The biggest increase has been the sale of mulch. There has also been an increase in sales of hand-watering tools, attachments,” he said.
“The number one thing is mulch, that will retain the moisture.”
Mr O’Malley said people were also buying water crystals to put with plants to retain water.
WATER RESTRICTIONS IN ORANGE
- Hose watering for maximum one hour every second day on odds and evens house number basis
- Must be between 6am-9am or 6pm-9pm when micro-sprays, drip systems and soaker hoses are also allowed to be used
- Car washing any day 9am-noon on lawn by bucket
- Watering walls and paved areas banned
- Same limits apply for purple pipe system.