Tips to reduce water usage in gardens

Now is an ideal time to put mulch on the garden. Mulch keeps plant roots cool and moist through summer.

Tauranga’s peak water use days have reduced by an impressive seven per cent since the city brought in its Water-Watchers Plan two years ago.

The year-round plan helps people to plan their water use, and explains when it’s a good time to use sprinklers and water-blasters, and when it’s not.

Tauranga City Council water services manager Peter Bahrs says he is encouraged by Tauranga’s water-saving efforts. A keen gardener himself, Peter has some water-friendly gardening tips to share.

“We know people want their veggie gardens growing through summer, and we’ve got advice to help,” says Peter.

One of Peter’s top tips is using mulch to protect plant roots during hot days.

“Before the weather really heats up is the perfect time to put mulch in the garden. Mulch keeps soil cool, the moisture at plants’ roots, and weeds down – it’s a win-win-win,” says Peter.

He also recommends gardeners ‘toughen up’ their plants by watering less often for longer.

“Plants can become too water-dependent if they get light watering often, as this encourages shallow roots.

“Give them a good drink at their roots once or twice a week in the evenings so the moisture can soak in.

“Water can be reused for gardens too – put a bucket in the shower for non-edible plants or collect rainwater with buckets outside.

“It’s the little changes we make that add up to a big water-saving difference and keep our streams in good shape. Check the Water Watchers Plan on the council website before turning the tap,” recommends Peter. See:

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