You are only allowed to water your garden for one hour a week under Orange's tough Level 5 restrictions.
But, gardening expert and mayor Reg Kidd says you may not need to water at all.
HOW TO CHECK
Before watering push aside your mulch and put your finger into the soil. If it is moist below the surface then you do not have to water.
Cr Kidd said many of our plants get overwatered and some, like lavender, will not flower and possibly die. Many plants are much stronger than you actually realise and can go fairly long periods without watering.
Observe your plants for signs of stress including wilting and leaf yellowing and falling.
"Silver birchs will tend to throw off all their leaves, even though they have been adequately watered, due to hot, dry and constant winds. But by observation you will find many plants survive quite well with only period watering," he said.
Cr Kidd said a screwdriver was handy to push down into the soil to check the soil was moist at the root level.
"Remember watering can sometimes only see the surface wet and not penetrate to the roots," he said.
"Perhaps put in some holes beside plants to help water get to the roots."
He suggests using watering spikes or PVC pipe with slots.
"Incorporate water crystals and soil wetting agents, both can dramatically improve the success of watering especially when dry," he said.
- Do not water in the middle of the day, in windy conditions or if rain is likely
- Make a small dam from mulch and soil to avoid water running off the soil
- Water the roots rather than the leaves of plants
- Monitor the health of your plants for signs of stress, wilting, and concentrate water on them
- Treat and reuse wastewater from households. Various systems are available, talk to your council or plumber
- Divert grey water from the shower and washing machine to the garden. Contact a garden centre, hardware or plumbing store for advice
- To achieve stronger rose plants and more flowers use seaweed solution fortnightly. Deep soak roses with about 15-20 litres a week. Roses are drought tolerant
- To water pot plants add a soil wetter or stand plants in a trough of water overnight to allow water uptake but don't leave pot sitting in water for any longer than that.
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