10 simple outdoor habits that will help you save water

The game-changing stats every Aussie needs to know

Gardening without rain sounds like a losing combination, but it doesn’t have to be. With the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting warmer and drier than average temperatures this summer, it’s time to think smarter about keeping your Sir Walter green and luscious.

In Sydney on average 26 per cent of water is used outdoors making it really important for everyone to not only be conscious of their usage, but also to take the steps needed to reduce their consumption. Especially during times of crisis.

To get you started Sydney Water’s Love Water, don’t waste it campaign has a few simple tips to help save our water supplies … without risking the health of your plants.

1. Fit a trigger nozzle to your garden hose. This type of nozzle allows you to stop the water while you move to your next plant or garden bed. Some brands will even give you a digital reading of how much water you have used.

2. Timing is everything. As we know, when water is heated it evaporates. For this reason, it’s essential to water your grass and garden before 10 am or after 4pm to minimise water evaporation from the soil.

(Credit: Getty Images) (Credit: Getty Images)

3. Use a broom. Gone are the days of cleaning your driveway with the hose. Instead, use a broom or rake to clean those hard surfaces.

4. Not all turf is created equal. Different types of grass have different needs. Select a type of turf that needs less water, such as Sir Walter buffalo grass, which has a high resistance to drought and is low maintenance.

5. Use mulch. Mulch keeps the soil cool and protects it from direct sunlight, which is important for maintaining moisture levels. Apply 7-10 cm of mulch around plants to help reduce the amount of water lost through evaporation.

6. Less is more when mowing the lawn. Setting the blade on your lawnmower to 4cm or higher will not only improve the root system, but the taller grass blades will provide shade for your soil.

7. Plant smarter. Choose plants that thrive in the conditions found in your garden. It’s also a good idea to group plants with similar watering needs together. Sydney Water plant selector tool will help you choose the best plants suited to your local soil and weather conditions.

8. Wash your car on the lawn. Many car shampoos use phosphates similar to garden fertilisers so placing your car on the grass before washing will both water and fertilise your grass. Additionally, watering your lawn less frequently but with a long, slow soaking will help to establish a deeper root system.

Pool cover

9. Keep your pool covered. Maximise the water level in your pool and keep it covered. More than half the water in your pool can evaporate over a year.

10. Use greywater from your laundry. Divert water meant for the drain to your garden using a diversion hose. First, check your washing machine’s capability to do this and make sure your detergent doesn’t contain anything that could harm your grass.

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