Level two water restrictions are now in place for Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Illawarra.
But the tough new rules don’t mean you have to let your garden perish.
Here are some tips to keep your plants prospering and your flowers flourishing over a drought-stricken summer.
- Replacing lawn with permeable surfaces such as mulch, pebbles, gravel or native grasses can prevent water running off into stormwater drains.
- Add compost, worm castings, mulch and other natural organic matter to your soil. The more organic matter it has, the more water and nutrients it will be able to hold.
- Avoid artificial fertilisers, pesticides and other chemicals which can kill off bacteria and funghi.
- Use grey water on your gardens. Grey water is water that is collected from washing machines, sinks, showers and so forth. Put buckets in the shower and sinks to catch excess water.
- Wash your car on the lawn to allow the grass to absorb the run-off.
- Don’t cut your lawn too short while mowing. Longer grass will keep the soil moist and protect the roots.
- Use a wetting agent to prevent soil becoming water repellent. A splash of dishwashing liquid or clay in the water can do the trick.
- Clear weeds that are competing with your other plants for moisture.
- Use seaweed extract in your watering can or bucket to help plants with water retention.
- Wean plants gradually to cope with less frequent watering. Aim to water less often but for a longer time to strengthen water uptake and teach plants to expect less water.
- Opt for plants for that are adapted to dry conditions. Look for local native plants, foliage, shrubs, perennial plants, succulents, grey-leafed plants, and herbs such as thyme and sage. There are also a number of drought-tolerant edibles such as olives, grapevines, figs, almond and pistachio.
Read this to see what’s new under level two restrictions.