Mulching your garden beds will help retain moisture in the soil, prevent weed growth and help keep soil temperatures even. Many mulches also release nutrients and will help to condition the soil.
Be careful not to dig fresh, green mulch into the soil as this can lead to nitrogen drawdown. Nitrogen drawdown occurs when there is too much carbon in the soil, which affects plant growth.
Ensure the mulch you use has been processed and pasteurised. Pasteurisation will kill all seeds and pathogens.
Servicing reticulation and installing water wise reticulation systems
Having your reticulation serviced will identify any failures in the system and will prevent any leakages from continuing. Leaks lead to large losses of water and high water bills.
Having a water wise reticulation system will help to improve application rates and reduce water wastage.
Some simple improvements that can be made to a system include:
- Replacing standard sprinkler heads with ones that have a more precise application of water, these include: low pressure heads, rotators and gear drives.
- Finding out the recommended run times for different heads will also ensure that you are not watering for too long.
- Programing your reticulation controller to reflect your addresses watering days will also prevent overwatering. Check your watering days.
- To help reduce run times similar stations can be paired, contingent on there being adequate pressure.
- Sprinklers servicing the following categories of hydro-zones should be valved separately and stationed according to their respective hydro-zones. They are as follows:
- High Profile turf areas.
- Active turf areas.
- Passive turf areas.
- Exotic garden areas.
- Native Garden areas.
- Low passive areas.
- Shaded areas.
- Tree watering systems.
Utilising alternative water sources
Take advantage of alternative water sources like rainwater via the use a rain tanks and similar capture sources. This will help to conserve ground, surface and scheme water, resulting in a reduced water bill.
Improving soil quality
Conditioning your soil will help it absorb the maximum amount of water and will prevent it from becoming hydrophobic. This is done by adding soil fertilizers, compost and wetting agents.
Planting endemic native plants
Understanding what plants are endemic to your area and making an effort to plant them will help to preserve the biodiversity of the Shire.
Native plants provide food and habitat for native animals and need little to no water, especially once established.
Please refere to the Shire’s Vegetation Complexes to identify which species are endemic to each area and for a comprehensive list of all the endemic species.
Providing areas to be used as habitat for native fauna
Provide habitat for the native fauna, this may include tree hollows, rock gardens, nest boxes, logs, bird baths and frog ponds.