Save water in your garden by implementing these simple tips:
- Plant indigenous or waterwise plants. Indigenous plants are genetically accustomed to the climate of South Africa and have adapted to the drier conditions. Exotic plant species are not accustomed to the climate and therefore require more watering. Invasive and alien plant species can be quite thirsty.
- Install a grey-water system if feasible. They can save up to 1,500 litres of water per week for reuse in the garden.
- Hosepipes for outdoor watering must be fitted with a self-closing device.
- Only water your garden on Tuesdays and Saturdays before 9:00 or after 18:00 for a maximum of one hour – this applies to use of borehole, ground/well/spring water too. Those making use of borehole water, treated effluent water, spring water or wellpoints are encouraged not to water/irrigate within seven days after rainfall that provided adequate saturation. You may NOT water/irrigate with municipal drinking water.
- Mulch gardens to retain water. Instead of raking up the leafs, leave them where they are to return nutrients to the soil. Use grass cuttings and other organic material to cover exposed soil in gardens, along pathways, in flowerbeds, etc. to retain soil moisture.
- Don’t cut lawns below 4 cm in length, as this reduces root depth. Watering the garden deeper but less frequently will encourage deeper root systems, resulting in stronger plants with water-wise characteristics.
- All swimming pools should be fitted with a cover, particularly in windy areas. It will keep your pool warmer, reduce evaporation massively and consequently reduce the need to top-up frequently.
Find some great advice on rainwater harvesting from the City of Cape Town’s Department of Water and Sanitation here!