It’s no secret that Mother Nature has not been kind to Western Cape residents over the last two years or so. The province experienced the worst drought in modern times, forcing residents to reduce their water usage. Households which have not been able to water their gardens and lawns have seen their yards turn into barren wastelands.

 

The drought situation in Cape Town once again reminded us that it’s our responsibility as South Africans to save as much water as possible. Use these tips, written in collaboration with Private Property, to get the beautiful and lush garden you’ve always dreamed of while going easy on the H2O.

 

  • Plant vegetation that doesn’tneed a lot of water to stay healthy. Examples of drought-tolerant plants include palms, the baby sun rose plant, wild garlic and the bird of paradise flower.

 

  • Group plants according to how much water they consume. For example, you can choose to frame your garden with palm trees and shrubs which require less water to maintain, and make grass and bedding plants the showpiece of your garden.

 

  • Use drip irrigation instead of a hose or sprinkler. This way you can ensure that water is delivered where it’s needed – to the root of the plants.

 

  • Limit hard surfaces in your garden. Sunlight that hits concrete and brick pathways bounces off as heat into the surrounding area, making your plants crave more water. Paving also prevents water from penetrating the soil.

 

  • Collect fallen leaves and other garden and household waste to create compost, and add this to the soil in your garden. Not only will you provide your plants with essential nutrients to grow, but a healthy soil mixed with organic matter stores moisture in the ground more effectively.

 

  • Install a greywater device to collect used water from the shower, washing machine and dishwasher, and use it to water your plants. You can also build drainage channels to direct the flow of rainwater into your garden.

 

While Gauteng hasn’t experienced the same extent of drought that the Western Cape has, its residents should still keep their water use to a minimum. So, whether you live in Cape Town or in a property to rent in Randburg and Ferndale, make sure every drop counts in your home as you get your garden spring ready

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