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There are plenty of practical things you can do to reduce water consumption without compromising your lifestyle. Although Darwin receives sufficient rainfall during the wet season, there are a few dry months during the year and high water evaporation rates.
As the population grows and the weather patterns change, there’s going to be an even greater demand for water and perhaps not as much supply. Nearly 85% of Darwin’s water supply comes from the Darwin River Dam. The rest comes from the McMinns and Howard East Borefields. Since rainfall varies from one year to another, the amount of water flowing into the dam also varies considerably. Without sufficient rainfall, residents may not receive enough water to use indoors and outdoors. So how do you lower your water consumption without sacrificing your lifestyle? Let’s find out.
It’s best to water your lawn before sunrise or after dusk so the water doesn’t evaporate quickly but reaches right down to the roots of the plants. Remember to water anytime between 8 pm and 8 am to save water in your garden.
If you mulch your garden, you’ll increase your lawn’s water retention capabilities. Mulch not only lowers the evaporation rate but it also prevents the growth of weeds.
Wash your Vehicles on the Lawn
Instead of washing your vehicle on a cemented driveway, consider washing it on the lawn.
Adjust Watering Times
Water occasionally but water deeply so your plants do well in times of drought. Plants should ideally receive an inch of water a week. If you give the ground a good soaking, the water will go a few inches below ground level and linger long enough for the roots to get what they need. Also, avoid watering for more than 20 minutes at a time. If you continue watering for extended periods of time, the water will go past the root zone and wash away essential nutrients as well.
Adjust Your Lawn Mower Settings
Keep the grass around 3 inches tall during summer and spring so the roots remain shaded and less water evaporates. 2 ½ inches is an optimal grass height for the cooler months. This will stimulate good grass growth and keep your lawn looking healthy.
Choose Native Plant Species
If you plant native trees in your garden, they will be better able to withstand local weather conditions. Also, use organic matter in your garden to improve water retention. It’s best to plant trees with the same watering requirements together. This makes irrigation a lot easier. Plants that are exposed to bright sunlight and high winds may have different watering needs. You ought to take all this into account when you’re drawing up a watering plan.
Check Your Irrigation System
It’s a good idea to install and use a tap timer so you can set it and get on with other things in life. You won’t have to worry about forgetting to turn off the irrigation system with a tap timer in place.
Other Practical Ways to Save Water
Apart from following all the gardening tips mentioned above, you could also reduce your water consumption indoors. Switch to water efficient appliances and showerheads and install a dual flush toilet to reduce water wastage.
Also, inspect the taps and pipes for leaks. A good way to find out if you have leaks is to read your water meter before bed and early in the morning. If the reading has changed, you’ll know you have a leak.
Here at Hardy Landscaping, we have the right knowledge and expertise to keep your garden looking fabulous during the long dry months. We understand Northern Territory’s unique climatic conditions and can help you find the right landscaping and irrigation solutions to suit your needs.
Call us on 0408 083 383 for more information or sign up below to receive our updates.