Rahamim have been happy to have Bathurst City Council’s Waterwise Gardening Workshops delivered onsite. Dhyan Blore, horticulturalist, has been sharing her knowledge on managing gardens and garden design to use water more effectively. Here are her top tips:

1. Look to the soil – the better it is, the more life and organic matter present in the soil, the better the water retaining capacity.

2. Invest in a good mulch for your garden beds:

a.     fine (straw or similar) to a depth of 3 – 5 cms

b.     woodchip (fine) – some companies sell this with water retentive additives to a depth of 6 or so cms

c.      Hardwood chips to a depth of 8 cms.

3. A Tap timer – great for setting off those drip irrigation hoses.

4. Adding screed, aged and composted cow manure to the soil under the mulch.

5. Drip irrigation hoses placed under the mulch and above the soil so to avoid having to water the mulch each time the garden is watered.

Other considerations for waterwise gardening:

Plant selection – the following features of a plant generally indicates a need for less water as these are all functions that have more water retention abilities for the plant:

o   Small leafed

o    grey coloured leaves and

o    the presence of hairs on the leaves of trees and shrubs.

Water for our native insects and birds – leave water out for all wildlife no matter how large or small the wildlife. Make sure there are ways in and out of the water for ease of exiting for the smaller of the wildlife. Place the containers in the shade to reduce evaporation and the temperature in the water.

o   Small ponds,

o   Bird baths

o   Large containers, and

o   Shallow dishes of water