South Africa is a dry country with an average rainfall of less than 500 mm per annum. In comparison, the world average is over 800 mm. As the need for this precious resource grows, so will its price as well as legislation to discourage excessive use. Sadly, gardens are often singled out for water restrictions and bans, but many people are guilty of overwatering. In fact, gardens consume 30-50 % of all domestic water used. A crazy statistic that calls for waterwise garden designs and maintenance practices.
Responsible water usage should be a fundamental element in all garden design, and ongoing water-saving practices should form part of all gardening activities. As the saying goes, ‘every drop counts’.
Group plants according to their water requirements, keeping high water usage plants together and low water usage plants together for efficient watering.
Choose low water usage plants for your garden. Succulents are well known as waterwise plants and are an attractive addition to any garden!
Plant endemic, indigenous plants that occur naturally in your region. Once established, they can survive on rainfall alone.
Keep your plants healthy – healthy plants have stronger roots and are more tolerant to water shortages, diseases and insects.
Add a moisture-retaining polymer such as Wonder Waterwise Crystals to the soil when planting.
Remove invasive plants where possible and replace alien plants with indigenous as far as possible.
Improve your soil structure. Soils rich in organic matter hold water more effectively. Keep soil well mulched to reduce evaporation.
Replace lawn areas with hard landscaping or waterwise ground covers. Manicured lawns require large quantities of water to maintain.
Water your garden thoroughly but less frequently. This is a more efficient way to water your garden.
Avoid watering on hot, windy days. In summer, limit watering times to early mornings or late afternoons.
Wonder Waterwise Crystals is a water-retaining polymer that increases the water holding capacity of soil. To activate the polymer, water the crystals thoroughly. Once active, the product retains water, preventing runoff and the loss of soil nutrients, and reducing irrigation needs by 50%!
Wonder Waterwise Crystals is great for:
Whether your ‘irrigation system’ is a 5-litre watering can, a hose and hand sprayer, or a comprehensive micro or dripper system, there are simple measures that can be implemented to conserve water.
Small water accessories such as tap fittings, connectors and distributors are fundamental to all watering systems. Leaking fittings are a major contributor to water wastage – check and replace these items regularly to prevent unnecessary water costs. Wonder’s range of watering accessories, nozzles and sprinklers is ideally suited to South Africa’s weather and water conditions. Ensure you know the correct connector size needed when purchasing your items and feel free to ask for expert advice where required.
Entry-level pyramid sprayers are great for a waterwise garden, but more complex sprinklers like the oscillating and impulse sprinklers offer wider, more effective water coverage and are well worth the additional investment. Hose reels help to facilitate and improve the ease of manual watering systems. And don’t forget the water timer! As the name suggests, this device allows your watering times to be pre-programmed and scheduled according to your individual preferences.
Adding a layer of material to the surface of exposed soil is termed ‘mulching’. Almost any material can be used successfully as mulch, even inorganic materials such as plastic. Organic mulching – using pine bark or compost for example – is preferable, though, as the material is easily broken down in the soil.
Reduces soil evaporation and regulates soil temperature, thereby conserving soil water.
Mulching reduces evaporation on the soil surface by providing a protection layer against the sun and wind.
Mediates soil temperatures by offering a protective layer that allows the soil to maintain a more constant median temperatur.
Mulching reduces the growth of weeds in your garden by creating a more difficult environment for weed seeds to take root.