If you are spending seemingly endless hours in your garden, making sure your plants and veggies get enough water to survive the Northern Territory climate, you are fighting a losing battle. While your landscape may thank you for the effort, your water usage will go through the roof. It is important to plan a landscape that is as self-sufficient as possible; otherwise you will waste gallons of water every day trying to keep it looking vibrant and healthy.
Embrace Mulch in Your Landscape
Much of the water you are using is being lost to evaporation. Mulch is one the most effective solutions to slowing down evaporation and improves soil moisture. Plants and trees thrive when mulch is applied in 2-3 inch layers around their base. Root systems fair well in an environment where mulch has been used.
You should also start gathering organic materials such as leaves to create your own mulch. Shredded organic material makes for excellent mulch that can be reapplied in your garden, protecting your plants and providing additional nutrition in many cases.
A rainwater tank is a great way to collect additional water which you can use to water your landscape. Depending on how much you are prepared to spend, some rainwater tanks can even be plumbed into sprinkler or slow drip irrigation systems.
It is important not to allow water collected in your tank to become stagnant. Most plants are pretty hardy when it comes to rainwater and it is better for them. However, debris and pollutants may affect plant health if the tank isn’t covered correctly or water isn’t filtered upon release.
Water When It’s Cool
The fact that water evaporates faster in heat is well understood. Make sure your watering schedule takes the temperature into the account and only water when it is cool. This will slow down the evaporation process and allow your plants and trees to benefit from watering.
The morning is a good time to water your landscape and it also serves as a productive start to the day. You could also water in the evening but when the sun goes down it will make harder to see what you are doing, unless you have adequate landscape lighting.
Effective Irrigation Systems
The different types of irrigation systems and tools you can buy are not designed to suit personal taste. Each type of irrigation system is suited to a particular type of landscape and the plants that you grow. With that said, soaker hoses and drip irrigation are perfect for controlling the amount of water that you use.
When you go shopping for tools to help you reduce the amount of water you use, check the manufacturer recommendations or speak to a member of staff at the garden center. Both will provide information on effectively using the product and whether it is suitable for your landscape.
Drought Tolerant Plants
Of course, plants that need very little water are the ultimate money savers. Drought tolerant or harder plants will survive in even the hottest conditions without constantly needing water. These plants only require regular watering when they are young to help them establish healthy root systems.
Australian Plants Online provides an excellent guide to drought tolerant plants that will look great in any Northern Territory landscape. You can purchase your plants directly from the site or shop around for a better price for greater savings. Investing in drought tolerant plants is by far the most efficient way to save water.
If you are considering redoing your landscape, you may need construction inspections. Houspect is a respected building inspection company in Australia with a presence in the Northern Territory.