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There’s a great “sunscreen” for your garden that fights summer dryness by locking in moisture, and helps to suppress weeds and improve soil structure. By applying mulch, your garden can get all these benefits plus you’ll conserve water.
“Using mulch is one of the most effective ways to help save water and keep your garden healthy,” says Andrew Samuel, Greater Wellington’s Water Marketing Analysis Manager. “It really is a sunscreen for your garden – it actually cuts evaporation by up to 70% so you won’t need to water as often and any watering that you do will be more effective.”
Water use by Wellington’s four cities rises every year during summer and daily use can be 50% higher than an average day in winter. A lot of the increased demand comes from watering the garden. A garden hose or sprinkler can spray away 1000 litres of water in just one hour – that’s as much as a family of four would use on a winter’s day.
Gardeners should follow these four simple steps to keep a healthy garden and conserve water:
• Use mulch
• Check to see if your soil really needs watering
• Water only around your plant's roots
• Time sprinkler sessions to 30 minutes – once a week should be enough
To encourage mulching, garden centres and hardware outlets are offering great deals on mulch throughout November. For more information on mulch, including price deals and participating retailers, see www.bethedifference.gw.govt.nz