Pick up a drill, reach for some mulch and get grey water out of your shower and washing machine.
Gardening expert Reg Kidd has outlined the key strategies you should be using to save your trees and plants from the drought.
- Make sure your watering penetrates to the root zone
- Soils become so dry and compacted that they repel water and the water does not get through
- Drill some holes with a hand auger or an auger that fits on a cordless drill.
- Cr Kidd says he uses a three-inch auger which will dig down very easily, even in the hardest of soils.
- Perhaps drill two to four holes around the trunk of the plant
- If you want the hole to stay open you can put some gravel in it
- Water directly into these holes say once or twice a week. A good strategy is to use your grey water
- You can also obtain various forms of water crystals that can be put in the holes or dug into the soil around plants
- These crystals absorb the water you apply, and release it slowly to the plant which therefore increases the efficiency of your watering
- You can also use soil wetters (available from all nurseries) as this helps the water penetrate the soil.
- You may think that the water you have applied is useful, but only if it gets to the roots
- A simple test is to use a long screwdriver. See if it is penetrating down reasonably easy to say, half way between the trunk and the drip line of the plant. (The drip line is the outside of the plant).
- READ MORE: Free entry to pool on Australia Day, relaxed watering passes
- You will be surprised how much water you can capture just from the shower (or bath). You can buy large tubs to stand in while showering and then bucket that water to the garden once you are finished
- Install various greywater saving devices in your house. Information is available from council, your nursery or a plumber.
- READ MORE: NSW drought, rainfall: Widespread rain is predicted to fall during the week | Weather radar
- Cr Kidd said he has noticed many mulches around trees are too deep, and right up to the trunk. Water has to penetrate the mulch to get to the soil surface and penetrate to the roots
- Push away mulch from the trunk (to avoid collar rot) and make a basin effect around the trunk, of 12-18 inches depending on the plant's size
- This gives a reservoir to put water in, so it has a better chance of penetrating. Mulch helps cut evaporation, keeps the area cooler and checks weed growth.
- READ MORE: Banjo Paterson Cup moved from 'dead' Towac Park but rain could save track
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