Courtesy of The Garden Gurus
The magic word is mulch, mulch and more mulch. It’s critical it’s applied early to conserve as much water as possible in the soil. If you have never used mulch before, now is the time to start. Soil that isn’t mulched dries out on those first warm days in spring.
As it warms up, we see plants wilting and automatically think they are dry and reach for the sprinklers. RESIST this urge; a quick dig and scratch around the root system will reveal damp soil. The plants are only wilting because of the sudden heat.
Lift the mower blades. A longer lawn is a little like a living mulch – it protects and shields the root system from the searing heat. The end result is less evaporation and less watering needed.
Check to make sure your soil is not water repellent. WA has some of the worst non-wetting soils in the world. This means any water that is applied to the garden runs off and the plant’s roots don’t get any of it. Early in spring, apply a wetting agent over the whole garden, either granulated or liquid to make sure the water soaks in and gets to the plants roots. It will save your watering by up to 50%.
Add water storing granules to pots and hanging baskets. They hold water until the plants are ready to draw on it and last for up to 5 years. Dig into the soil around existing pots and baskets. Always have a container of these in the garden shed and, when potting, add a few teaspoons. Annual beds and shrubs benefit from them being added under the root system when planting.
Change areas of the garden watered by sprays to drip irrigation. Select the dripper size based on the type of plants being watered ie. native shrubs only need 4lt/hour while roses benefit with an 8lt/hour dripper. Drippers are the most effective way of watering as the water is delivered to the plant’s roots where it is needed.
Preparing a new garden bed is easy. Good soil, water storing granules, wetting agent and correct watering will result in a fantastic garden – and ensure you group together plants that have similar watering needs.
© The Garden Gurus