Metro Vancouver water restrictions alert:
Due to prolonged drought conditions, Metro Vancouver has raised water restrictions to Stage 3. This means that all lawn, garden and pot watering is prohibited with a sprinkler or soaker hose. Garden watering is still allowed using hoses with automatic shut off, with drip irrigation and by-hand using watering cans.
Read Metro Vancouver’s full color guide to what is and isn’t allowed under the Stage 1-4 water restrictions.
With no significant rain in the forecast these water restrictions are likely to be around for some time to come. And we are not alone in Metro Vancouver; the City of Nanaimo, the Okanagan, California and beyond have all seen unseasonably dry springs and summers leading to water restrictions coming into force.
But this doesn’t mean that you have to sit and watch your garden go limp and dry up. Read on to find out useful tips for helping your garden through this dry spell, and how to make your garden more drought resistant.
Water saving tips
- Move pots and plants into the shade
- By simply moving pots and plants out of the direct sun you can drastically reduce the amount of water that they need. Think about this when positioning new plants and pots in your garden.
- Water at the right times
- Watering early in the morning or late in the evening will increase the amount of water that reaches the plant’s roots before it evaporates.
- Only water the soil
- Don’t waste water by spraying foliage. Water only the soil. Drip irrigation is an effective way to get water to the plants roots where it is needed.
- Collect and re-use water
- Most grey water from our houses can be used in our gardens; water from your children’s bath, water from washing vegetables, dish washing water….. why not try putting a bucket in the shower? Small amounts of detergent shouldn’t do any harm to your plants, especially eco-soaps and detergents.
- Although the skies are pretty dry at the moment, get yourself ready for the rains to start and set your garden up with rain barrels.
- Don’t worry about your lawn
- Lawns may go brown but they won’t die; they just go dormant over the summer. If you need to cut it, leave the clippings on the lawn as mulch and cut it slightly longer than normal. Show off your brown lawn with pride… proof that you are doing the right thing to conserve water!
- Plan your garden and planting
- Think carefully about water usage in your garden when planting and designing. Look towards drought resistant plants; native plants are often a good option as they thrive in your local climate!
- Why not break the mold and think about alternatives to water-hungry green lawns? Elfin thyme provides a very drought tolerant mass of small green foliage with light pink flowers in the summer…. and smells amazing. Over-seeding your existing lawn with clover seeds also provides a more drought-resistant alternative to plain grass. A quick google comes up with lots of exciting alternatives!
- Maintain healthy soils and plants
- Soils with high organic and nutrient content will hold on to water much better. Adding bokashi pre-compost to your garden will substantially increase the quality of your soil and allow it to hold on to more water. Unlike traditional composting, the bokashi process adds moisture to your garden through the pre-compost and the bokashi tea.
- Furthermore, healthy soils will encourage healthy strong plants. Stronger plants will have more established root systems and the plants will be much more able to handle drought conditions. Check out our shop to find out how to get started with bokashi today.
- Save water indoors too
- Monitoring our water usage should not be restricted to our outdoor use. Think before you use (and waste) water throughout the day. No need to flush the toilet every time, turn off the tap whilst cleaning your teeth, make sure your washer and dishwasher are full before you use them etc. By managing and controlling our water usage in all aspects of our lives we can help to prevent further water restrictions.