Garden Ideas - Water Efficiency in Your Garden

Make your garden more water efficient

As demand for water constantly increases it is important to find viable and simple ways of conserving water. According to current research, in hot and dry weather water used outdoors can amount to 50 per cent of the total UK water usage. Moreover, all gardens in Britain need to consider current climate change with less rainfall over the summer months. That is why we would like to share with you how it is still possible to have a beautiful and productive garden while using less water. A drought resistant garden will not only help you to be more water efficient but also reduce your water bills, cut the risk of drought orders and water restrictions and help protect wildlife. Although automatic irrigation systems are a good solution to the problem, they are not practical for every user and may not be affordable. An alternative is to choose plants that do not require much water or to follow our tips below on how to save water in the garden. Find out what you can do to create a water efficient garden that meets your lifestyle needs, regardless of your local climate and make the most of rainwater to save a considerable amount of mains water used.

Design your garden for your water needs

When thinking about your garden design, consider the specific conditions of your yard throughout the day and the seasons. Take into account that water requirements in shady versus sunny spots, slopes versus flat areas and how depressions differ. Moisture availability for your plants will also differ according to your soil type as for example sandy soils will drain water whereas clay soils hold water. Some places, such as narrow side yards may be hard to water making every day routine more difficult to follow. Paved areas can heat up and dry out nearby soils, hence avoid high watering areas nearby in order to save water. Try to choose deciduous plants as they could help cool your home in summer with shade and let winter sun through saving you water and energy. Consider all of the factors that will help you design a truly water smart garden that will flourish on small amounts of water.


Group plants with similar water needs to make watering more efficient

First of all identify your desired water-use zones. Then group plants according to their water requirements so that you only need to water smaller defined sections of your garden and you can manage your water usage better. To save water create as many small high water-use zones as possible. They should be easily accessible as they will need to be watered regularly if there is no rain. To be more water efficient you can supplement your watering in this area with rainwater from the water butts or treated grey water (only for grey water tolerant plants).  The goal is to increase low water-use zones where the plants receive no water except natural rainfall, for example areas of bushland, well-established trees, natural turf areas or areas planted with drought resistant plants. Try to dedicate the most exposed and hottest position in the yard to the low water-use zones.

Amend the soil

First, you need to find out what type of soil you have and improve its water retention capabilities accordingly.  Most soils will help you conserve water better if you add some organic material, such as manure, compost, worm castings and leaf mould. For heavy soil you can add gypsum and sand to improve air space and drainage. If the soil is too well drained, you can be more water efficient by adding soil wetting agents and water saving crystals to help water to get into and remain in the soil. In order to create free organic material for your soil, you can start a worm farm or make compost.