First impressions last, and for many homeowners the front yard is the first impression visitors will get of the residence. For this reason, many of us will do all we can to keep our yards as vibrant as possible while still keeping to water restrictions and regulations. While this can be quite a challenging task, following these water saving choices for the yard can help keep your gardens and lawns looking the best they can.
Embrace the climate
Living in Sydney, we are fortunate enough to live in a temperate weather climate. We have a warm summer and cool winter, with rain throughout, making it more and more important to embrace the weather we are given.
Check the weather
Rain could be coming sooner than you think! Instead of getting up in the morning and watering the plants, check the forecast. If rain is due for the afternoon, skip watering and let nature take its course.
Select greenery that is native to the area
A lot of Australian plant life are drought tolerant, meaning that they will still thrive on small amounts of water. This will lower demand for water and therefore help keep your water usage levels down. Some examples are:
- Australian Grevilleas
- Crepe Myrtle trees
- Hymenosporum Flavum (Native Frangipani)
- Yellow-Flowering Australian Kangaroo-Paw
Opt for a drought resistant lawn
Many turfs have been bred for the harsh Australian environment. By selecting one of the several varieties that are drought resistant, you will have a lush green lawn that will require the occasional deep watering.
Water saving choices for the garden
Use water efficient irrigation systems
With some smart planning, and drip-style irrigation systems, homeowners can provide a precise measure of water directly to the plants root systems. Combined with the right timing system, you can be sure your garden isn’t being overwatered.
Take advantage of permeable paving
Designed to be porous to let water through, permeable pavers can add a point of difference to paths and driveways by allowing grass to grow through. Modern systems comprise of interlocking cells that can easily handle the weight of a vehicle, while keeping the turf intact.
Use the appropriate chemicals
By adding wetting agents to your soil they will retain the water longer, allowing plant life a longer time to absorb the water. Adding fertilisers to lawns and gardens also provides them with nutrients needed for growth, reducing their need for water.
Mulching your garden helps keep the moisture in the soil as well as keeping the roots of trees cool. A layer of mulch around 50-75mm will do the trick. And the best part? It will also keep out weeds!
A garden on the roof?
You’ve most likely seen pictures of these, but maybe not one in person… These are called a green or living roof. This garden takes advantage of rainwater whilst also insulating your home. Not sure where to start? Your local plumber can help you with this.
Keeping grass to a minimum is going to be one of the best ways you can save water. Opt for timber decking and pavers instead. If you really want to have grass but still want to minimise your water consumption, consider artificial grass as an alternative – however, keep in mind the manufacturing process to create it isn’t environmentally friendly.
Rainwater harvesting systems, as the name implies, collects rainwater from the home’s gutters and transfer it into a large storage tank. From here, the water can be pumped into the house or used for watering our gardens. Not only is this a great way to recycle water, but a rainwater tank can save you money.
Rainwater tanks come in all shapes, sizes and materials, meaning you’ll be sure to find one that suits your home. These include:
- Steel tanks
- Polyethylene tanks
- Bladder tanks
- Below-ground rainwater tanks
Don’t forget the gutters!
Keeping your gutters clean will ensure your rainwater flows smoothly into your rainwater tank. If you don’t have a rainwater tank, having a clear gutter means the water will enter the downpipe and continue into the stormwater drain.
Use a greywater system
Greywater systems gather waste water from within the home that can be reused. Avoiding the sewer system (blackwater), a greywater system will send water from our sinks, basins and laundry troughs to other parts of the house that won’t be used for human consumption. This system is similar to keeping a bucket in the shower, and reusing that water in the garden.
Quick and easy tips and tricks
Don’t use water where it isn’t needed
This may seem glaringly obvious, but using a broom rather than a hose to clean paved areas and pathways will provide a significant water saving.
Maintain fittings and hoses
Having an efficient watering system is all well and good when it is in perfect working order. Routine checks will help identify leaks in any fittings or hoses, ensuring that no water is needlessly wasted. While this works well for fixtures we can see, a noticeable green patch in our lawns can be a good indication of a cracked pipe underground which can lead to additional problems and costs if not rectified.
Use a trigger nozzle and watering can
Fitting your hose with a trigger nozzle means you control how much water you are and aren’t using. It will also save you turning the tap on and off each time you want to restrict the water. Use a watering can to collect rainwater and water only small areas that need a bit of moisture.
Time it right
If you are going to water your yard, make sure you do so before 10am and after 4pm.
Wash cars on the lawn
Rather than washing vehicles on paved surfaces, washing them on the lawn can help minimise water usage. The water is being used to feed the lawn, and many soaps on the market contain chemicals that act similar to soil wetting agents.
Swimming pool cover
Using a swimming pool cover will help to conserve the water you might have otherwise lost in evaporation.
Start water saving in the yard today
By making some small changes to the existing equipment used to water the garden and lawn, as well as some slight changes to how we use water is all that’s needed. Homeowners can have that great looking yard all year round without wasting our most precious resource.
For more water-saving tips, contact the friendly team at JEDI Plumbing today on 0411 774 381.