Garden

7 tips for drought-proofing your garden this summer

An expert horticulturist gives advice.
summer garden backyardGetty

Whether you have a whole backyard garden, a balcony with some pots or just some indoor plants, there’s no denying the positive effect gardening can have on our health and wellbeing.

WATCH: BHG’s Graham reveals his top tips for picking the perfect pots and pans for your garden 

Australians are avid gardeners. In fact, new research commissioned by garden retailer Flower Power has revealed that one in two Australians tend to their plants at least once a week, and 62% scale back their efforts due to water restrictions. However, this can have an adverse effect on health, wellbeing and the ecosystem during summer. 

Flower Power horticulturalist Octavia Jones says that no matter what shape or size a garden is, plants don’t just reduce stress and purify the air, they are important during all climate conditions, especially during times of drought.

“Not only do plants release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, but they also provide wildlife with habitats, create shade and play an important role in the water cycle,” says Ms Jones.

summer garden backyard
(Credit: Getty)

How to drought-proof your garden this summer

1. Water before 10am and after 4pm

“Water your garden with a hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle”

2. Install drip irrigation

“During Level 1 water restrictions in Sydney, a drip line irrigation system is the most efficient way to water gardens anytime during the day (or night). This focuses the watering around the root zone where the plants will gain the most benefit.”

3. Install a timer tap

“Installing a timer tap to your drip irrigation will ensure efficient watering at designated times – meaning no wasted water (or money) and consistent watering for your healthy plants.”

4. Increase soil wettability

In extended periods of dry weather, soils can dry out to the point where they become hydrophobic – meaning they actively repel water. A soil wetter will work immediately to help water soak through to your plants’ root zone, reducing water use by up to 50 per cent.”

5. Keep water in the soil

Once you’ve got your soil nice and moist, the key is to keep that moisture in the root zone, where your plants need it. A product like Amgrow Water Crystals expand to hundreds of times their size when in contact with water, forming a water-holding gel that will help your plants withstand dry periods.”

6.  Lay down some mulch

Mulching is an essential step for any garden – not only does it finish everything off visually, it’s also vital for keeping your soil moist and cool. Mulch will help your garden get the most out of every drop of water, with natural wetting agents providing increased holding capacity.”

7. Drought resistant plants

Talk to in-store horticulturists about plants which can thrive with limited water.”

blue house
(Credit: Getty)

BHG recommends: Drought tolerant plants

  • Agapanthus
  • Thyme
  • Acacia
  • Gazania
  • Lavender
  • Cordyline
  • Grevillea
  • Crepe Myrtle
  • Gold dust wattle
  • Banksia rose
  • Hibiscus
  • Cut-leaf daisy
  • Catmint

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