Summary

  • Contact your local water authority to find out what their water restrictions or water saving rules are.
  • Using mulch around plants reduces evaporation, suppresses weeds and looks good too.
  • Water your plants when it is cool and still, early in the morning is ideal.
Saving water in the garden not only saves money, but also helps protect the environment.

Most water authorities in Victoria have water restrictions or water saving rules. These generally limit the areas in your garden you can water, as well as at what time and for how long you can water. Contact your local authority to find out what restrictions apply.

Tips to save water in your edible garden

Tips for saving water in your edible garden include:
  • Use mulch such as pea straw or lucerne around your plants. This reduces evaporation, suppresses weeds and looks good.
  • Make little indentations in the soil around plants so the water doesn’t run off (particularly if you are on a sloped block).
  • Water your plants by hand. Hand watering is least affected by water restrictions. This is the most efficient method, as well as being therapeutic. Some people may not want to work in the soil, but may love to water the garden. Some water authorities stipulate the use of trigger nozzles on hoses.
  • Water your plants when it is cool and still, early in the morning is ideal.
  • Drip irrigation is water efficient, so consider installing a system. These are generally inexpensive. However you need to be aware of applicable water restrictions.
  • Get a rain gauge to see if nature has watered the garden overnight.
  • Check the weather forecasts and see if rain is coming, in which case you may not have to water.
  • Water around the roots and avoid the leaves, particularly with pumpkins, cabbages, cucumbers and tomatoes.
  • Keep your plants well fed. Healthy plants tolerate less water.
  • Get a good quality water-wand, with an on-off switch.
  • Don’t let your soil dry out completely as you need to use a lot more water to make it moist again.
  • Use compost as this helps retain moisture in your soil.
  • Keep the soil aerated to increase water penetration.
  • Harvest your rainwater – installing a water tank is a good way to do this.
Have fun, get involved, be sun smart and don’t stop gardening in the warmer weather. Find out what water restrictions apply to your local area and use the above tips to conserve this precious commodity.

Where to get help

  • Your local water authority
  • Community or local garden groups
  • Horticultural Therapy Association of Victoria Tel. (03) 9836 1128
  • Cultivating Community Tel. (03) 9429 3084
  • Department of Health Victoria, Prevention and Population Health.

Things to remember

  • Contact your local water authority to find out what their water restrictions or water saving rules are.
  • Using mulch around plants reduces evaporation, suppresses weeds and looks good too.
  • Water your plants when it is cool and still, early in the morning is ideal.

More information

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This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Horticultural Therapy Association Vic.

Last updated: August 2014

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