You can save water AND MONEY by following these easy tips – with compliments from Builders.
STEP 1: OBSERVATION
Spend some time observing your garden at different times of day to see where the shady spots are and which are the sun-drenched hot spots. Check out wind directions in the different seasons to see where windbreaks can make a difference. Consider using the slope of the land to irrigate your plants by trapping and directing rainwater in shallow furrows.
STEP 2: DESIGN
Sketch your garden on paper, noting existing features such as large trees, pools, taps, pathways and benches. Look at where you can lead grey water from bathroom outlets using gravity, or if you will need a pump, and which are the best spots for rainwater tanks and a handy garden shed. This may be a good time to decide what features stay and what goes, or if anything needs moving or adding. Adopt a waterwise approach to landscaping your garden.
STEP 3: ZONES
Plot zones on your plan indicating what you’ll use each area for. It’s common sense to put the herb and veggie garden near the kitchen door. The next zone is the one around the front entrance: This is where you set the tone or theme of your garden. An entertainment area is another. Do you need lawn for children and animals to play on? If you do, consider keeping it to a minimum as shallow-rooted grasses need regular watering to look good. You may also want to keep a corner of the garden as wild and natural as possible to provide a refuge for birds and other creatures.
STEP 4: PLANT SELECTION
Group together plants that have similar water needs. For instance, a bed of wild irises (Dietes grandiflora) and hardy pelargoniums will require very little watering once established, whereas bedding plants like pansies will need watering two to three times a week. View guidelines on how to choose water-saving plants.
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Visit www.builders.co.za for more hints, tip and inspiration ideas.