Water update: tips and devices to make life easier
It’s our most precious resource in the garden, and there are many ways to make the most of every single drop. DERYN THORPE shows you how to go with the flow
During the mild days of spring, it’s easy to forget about the hot days ahead. Many of us plant with abandon, and aren’t necessarily equipped to follow through with summer watering. Gardeners who receive ample rain over the warm months may get away with it, but the rest of us can jeopardise the time and money we’ve invested on new plants simply by failing to water them.
All plants need water while they’re getting established, even those labelled as drought tolerant. This is because new plants have immature root systems that can only access water, oxygen and dissolved minerals close to the plant. While a plant’s roots are establishing, it may need quite frequent watering, depending on the plant type, soil and temperature. And watering needs to continue over summer until rain arrives.
making it easy
Watering need not be a stress. The trick is to have a combination of watering options that suit you, and some decent gear to make the job enjoyable and efficient. Many gardeners, for example, enjoy handwatering, finding it a relaxing, meditative experience that lets them appreciate the beauties of the garden and the particular needs of every plant. However, when we’re time poor, handwatering can turn into a chore. Likewise, irrigation – it’s so convenient when it’s working well, and so annoying when it’s not! At busy times, the frustrations of leaking taps and hose fittings, blocked and leaking reticulation, and kinking hoses spoil the pleasure of connecting with the garden.
Here are some ideas for using water efficiently, with a minimum of fuss. Now is a good time to update your equipment, invest in water-saving products, and improve the moisture-holding properties of your soil so that the time you spend watering the garden becomes something to look forward to, and the water you use isn’t wasted.