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How to save water in winter

In Durban, it is vitally important that we remember the scarcity of water as winter is our dry season.

Local expert in all things garden, Andrew Knight, retail manager at Durban’s Grovida and Horticulturist advised using mulch.

“We suggest the mulching of compost and, or bark as this will help to shield the surface from direct sun and drying heat,” he said, explaining that it will save as much as 30 percent on water loss through evaporation and assist with the availability of water to plants. Water saving measures are vitally important in winter gardening.

“Consider rockery plantations as these plants are tough and drought hardy,” he advised adding that many aloes, crassulas and other interesting succulents will be flowering now allowing gardeners the ability to see how planting designs will look on a smaller scale for the following year.

It is also advised that gardeners look to save what little rains may fall by having water storage tanks to ensure the availability of water year round, now and in the future.

“They will save on costs in the long run and are remarkably easy to install. Pick one up from your nearest reputable dealer,” he said.

Soil treatment

For those who feel the need to fertilise in winter, it is best to do so with slow release fertilisers to ensure the nutrients are around longer and will benefit growing plants better during the slow season.

“Organic fertilisers are also a good idea as these will work to improve the soil and ready it for the coming spring,” said Andrew.