When my first child had an accident at home, I realised we hadn't childproofed the house as well as we could have. Thankfully, they were fine, but I learned my lesson and began a thorough inspection of my home and garden. I got to work addressing the various hazards we had overlooked, and I started this blog to help other parents think objectively about the hazards in their own homes. I post about a variety of topics, such as pool safety, choosing a safe garden fence, storing medication and cleaning products, window and door locks and kitchen safety for kids. I hope you find my blog useful and informative.
The Bureau of Meteorology has officially declared that Australia is in the midst of a new El Nino weather pattern. While this may be good news for drought-stricken parts of the USA who will receive higher than average rainfall, in Australia it means a long, hot, and dry summer ahead. Many areas may face strict water conditions, and gardens usually suffer because of this. However, there are several ways that you can help your garden to survive the drought.
Use water saving crystals
Water saving crystals are an ingenious way to maximise water usage in your garden. They are small, hard crystals of an anionic polyacrylamide polymer. The crystals absorb and hold a massive 500 times their weight in water, and can be dug through your garden beds, lawn, and pot plants.
Using these crystals means that, when you water your garden, any excess water will be stored for later use instead of simply running off or being evaporated in the heat of the day. Your garden will need far less watering to stay green and healthy. Water saving crystals are available from most landscaping supply stores and online.
Mulch your garden beds
Mulching your garden beds is an excellent way to drought-proof your garden beds. Mulch works in the same way that insulation on your house works. It keeps the heat from the sun out and keeps the moisture in the soil in.
There is a fairly large range of mulch available from landscaping supply stores. Pebbles or stones work just as effectively as organic mulches. However, the advantage to organic mulch is that it breaks down over time and will actually increase the long-term fertility of your soil.
Divert your grey water
In drought conditions, there is usually a strict hose-pipe ban. This means that unless you have bore water, your lawns and garden beds will become rapidly parched and may even die. Even homes that have water tanks may find themselves reluctant to use their precious tank water to water the garden as their supplies diminish due to lack of rain.
The simple solution is to divert your grey water for use in the garden. Grey water is the dirty water from your washing machine and sinks. A plumber can divert the water so that, instead of going into the sewer, it is stored in a special tank. It's best to use washing and laundry detergents that are designed for grey water use so that your garden isn't affected by the chemicals in standard detergents.
There is no question that El Nino and the resulting water restrictions will cause your garden to suffer. The degree of the suffering can certainly be minimised by getting in early and implementing the above ideas before the true heat of summer is upon you. If you need help with implementing these ideas or coming up with others, contact a local landscaping company like Great Southern Lawns & Gardens.