Beat the drought! Here are some tips to get your garden through...
1. Dig in lots of organic matter/compost. Great for clay soils that dry and crack, and for sandy soils too.
2. MULCH - but get the ground really moist first. Use whatever you have, even grass clippings or cardboard. If you've have some decent rain this weekend, get cracking!
3. Soil seems to be repelling water? Spray hydrophobic soils with mild soap and water, or buy a wetting agent from your garden centre. Poke your garden fork in a few times to make some holes to channel down the water. Then give it a long, slow soak - water restrictions allowing!
4. Use drip line irrigation - it uses a lot less water.
5. Group plants together with the same water requirements, so you're not watering stuff that doesn't need it.
6. Cut down on the amount of lawn you have - grass needs a LOT of water. You could replace it with permeable gravel and plant olive trees, lavender, bay trees, citrus and rosemary for a cool Med vibe.
7. This autumn, plant trees. Trees are living shade sails, cooling the air around them and sheltering other plants so they lose less water from their leaves.
WATER STORAGE TANKS
Some great slimline options available, and bladder tanks that sit under your house or deck in a frame. Using greywater is an option but check your local council regulations first.
DROUGHT TOLERANT PLANTS
TREES: Cabbage trees, silk trees (Albizzia julibrissin), Lagerstroemia (crepe myrtle), pohutukawa, olives, feijoas, Italian cyprus, junipers, cycads and dwarf date palms, kanuka, karaka, kowhai, eucalyptus
SHRUBS: Pittosporums, coprosmas, grevilleas and leucodendrons, Portugese laurels, cistus (rock rose), some hebes, griselinia, rosemary, corokia, gaura
PLANTS: Flaxes, daylilies, Marlborough rock daisies, sedums, salvias, lavender, gaura, irises, euphorbia...the list goes on and on!