Water is one of the most important elements in gardens. This resource is vital for cultivating plants and nurturing wildlife, be it in your yard or outdoor parks.
In Singapore, the government and the private sector continue to push for water conservation. Recently, the National Parks Board launched the inaugural Community Garden Festival, where one of the goals is to raise awareness for better gardening. Also, the country has stepped up its efforts to make the most of their water resources by recycling rainwater.
For homeowners and gardeners, there are also ways you can make the most of water without compromising your green patch.
Add Organic Matter
Soil is essentially a mix of different-sized mineral particles. If most of those are large particles (such as sand), water passes through quickly. Smaller particles, such as clay, means the liquid will penetrate the soil much more slowly.
In any case, the best approach to improve the soil’s water-holding capacity is to add organic matter. Far East Flora Garden Centre and other local garden stores have a variety of soil, compost, and mulch that are ideal for retaining water more efficiently.
Aim for the Roots
While the leaves of plants are able to absorb moisture, the roots are still the primary “sponge” for the water. As such, you’ll want to make sure the water reaches that particular part of the plants.
Drip irrigation and soaker hoses are great options for this, especially for the medium to large gardens or landscapes.
Control the Green
Grass is one of the most labour-intensive and thirsty plants in gardens. To reduce water consumption, minimise the area where you place this plant.
As an alternative, try ground covers or low-maintenance perennials for the lawn.
Plan Before Planting
A garden can be started in any condition if you know the correct plants to use.
It is better to accept your area’s existing condition, choose the right plants, and work with what you have than to follow traditional gardening styles and change the soil and site.
Care for the Greens
Healthy plants need less water, fertiliser, and attention than stressed plants.
By keeping the plants healthy — through regular weeding, pruning, and other related tasks — you will not need to water frequently.
Efficient water use not only benefits your garden; do it right and you can lower your water bill, help the environment, and still have a beautiful, lush garden.