33 Tips for Saving Water In Your Garden And Outdoors

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33 Tips For Saving Water In Your Garden And Outdoors


33 Tips For Saving Water In Your Garden And Outdoors


Your garden can often be the source of a lot of your household water usage... and wastage.  In these times of water shortages, restrictions and uncertainties about the amounts of usable water in the future, it is essential that we all reassess how we currently use water and put into practise changes we can implement to cut our water usage.  

Many of these changes don't even take any extra money to do... in fact they will save you money on your water bill... but only require that we change our habits, the way we do things.  Others do cost something, but will repay us, both in the cost of our water bills and in helping protect this valuable resource, and the future of life on this planet.

For an innovative garden watering system that does not need mains water or mains power see our article on the Measured Irrigation Garden Watering System.   It operates automatically depending on real life weather conditions, so is also very water saving!

The following tips will help get you well on the way to living water-wise.

water saving tips


1. Re-use grey water to water appropriate plants.  Untreated grey water is not suitable for a veggie garden, but is fine for fruit trees and most other plants.  Make sure you are using suitable laundry and dish detergents.

Creating a Home Graywater System

2. Install rainwater tanks and use throughout the garden, as well as inside uses.
3. Make sure none of your outdoor taps etc leak... this can waste a lot of water!
One dripping tap may waste over 20,000 litres per year!!!
4. Don't use sprinklers.
5. Install a drip or underground weeping hose watering system, so that water is released, at a slow rate, right where it is needed and evaporation and the effects of the wind are lessened.
6. If it doesn't have one inbuilt, install a watering timer to safeguard against forgetting to turn off your watering system.
7. Make sure you adjust your watering timing appropriately for the weather... don't just leave it the same all year round.
8. Water more deeply, less often, to help develop stronger deeper root systems.
9. Use common sense regarding the times you water... wind or midday sun will cause more water to evaporate.
10. Don't have lawn... or if you do, have one that will survive without watering (drought tolerant), even if it looks a little brown at certain times.


savie water in your garden


11. Don't cut lawns too short as more evaporation will occur.
12. Water pots or small areas with a watering can.
13.  Hand-wash cars using a bucket and sponge... use your rainwater in the bucket.  And wash it on the lawn, if you have one, so that any water that runs off gets used by the grass.
14. Sweep, rather than hose down, concrete/paved areas, paths and driveways.
15. If you have a swimming pool, install a pool cover to minimise evaporation.
16. Use bark, pebbles, gravel or porous pavers, rather than solid concrete areas, to allow more water to soak into your soil.  This not only helps your garden, but can help lessen house foundation cracking due to dried out soil.
17. Keep your garden weed free... you don't want weeds competing for your water!  A lot of weeds can just be pulled, then laid on the garden to help mulch it, but it's not recommended to do this with seeding weeds.  These can usually be successfully composted- especially using hot composting method- and then used on the garden.

Hot compost system that really works!

18. When plants, especially shade loving plants, are young and more vulnerable, erect shade-cloth or shade sails to provide sun protection until the plants are more settled in, or other upper story plants have grown to fulfil their function.  This not only lessens the sun's direct effect on more fragile plants, but also lessens evaporation and saves on watering.
19. Before planting, make a plan of what areas of your garden get a lot of sun and what parts get more shade... and plant appropriate plants for the level of sun.
20. If you have a slope you can create swales to catch and hold water run-off.


saving water tips


21. Mulch your garden well, especially before summer, to help lessen evaporation.
22. Make sure your soil is healthy, which in turn will help create healthier, more resilient plants.
23. Soil composition is important for its water retention capability.  Peat moss and other organic materials help hold water.  This is especially useful for hanging baskets and pots, which can dry out fast due to smaller quantities of soil to hold moisture.
24. Move pots to shadier spots in hot weather, to ease the stress on them and lessen evaporation.
25. Consider planting some of your pot plants into the ground, as they will require less watering, be less work, and cope better with hot weather.
26. Don't put plants under stress during hotter months, by planting out or otherwise disturbing them.  Do this at a cooler time of year so that they are well established by summer.
27. Don't overcrowd plants so that they compete with each other for available water.
28. Don't over-fertilise.  Plants rushing to grow bigger and bigger, faster and faster, will require more water.
29. Use hardy ground cover plants to help lessen evaporation.
30. Plant natives, suited to your area, and other less water needy plants to create a water-wise garden.

The Garden Gurus - Growing Aussie Natives

31. Grow plants with similar water needs together, so you aren't over or under watering.
32. Plant trees and large shrubs, which once established will require little or no extra water.  These can also offer shaded areas for more delicate plants, but be aware some trees and shrubs may delight in finding the water you give to your more shallow rooted delicate plants, and they will suffer.  Other trees tend to send roots deeper and won't be as much competition.  These trees and bushes can also play a part in shading areas of your home from the sun, if planted with some forethought.
33. Provide water, such as in bird baths, pools or other water features in your garden for visitors such as birds, bees, butterflies and other insects.  This might not sound like a water saver, as you will get evaporation, however it helps these beneficial creatures to flourish, which in turn means they help keep you garden healthier, less stressed and therefore more able to survive heat and drought.  The water features can also help create moist micro-climates, which cools the area, gives moisture and helps plants cope.

Check out our article on saving water in your home.

Please feel free to let us know if you have any more water saving tips.  We will be happy to include them!


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