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It’s never been more important to save water

pic0018Many areas of our country are facing drought and extreme water restrictions due to a lack of rain. While the Western Cape hasn’t been as badly affected, it is vital for us to save the resources we do have.

Remember that every drop of our tap water is drinkable, so it’s even more important not to waste it. In many instances, it’s simply a case of changing our habits – don’t pour reusable water down the drain. Water from vases and water used to rinse fruit and vegetables can be saved and used to water the garden or pot plants.

Here are a few ideas to make you more water-savvy in your home and garden:

  • Replace washers on leaking taps immediately. A tap that drips at a rate of one drop per second wastes 10 260 litres per year.
  • Water your lawn deeply, but less frequently. As a rule of thumb, most lawns only need to be watered once every five days in summer and once every two weeks in winter (if at all).
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Save Water while you can …


September is generally the last month of the year in which we can rely on a fairly regular supply of rain in the Western Cape. This is your chance to save rainwater for the hot and dry months that lie ahead.

Here are a few tips:

  • Consider laying permeable paving in high traffic areas where grass struggles to grow. By leaving gaps between the paving stones (you can plant attractive groundcovers in between), you allow the rain water to penetrate the soil, instead of just running off into gutters and drains.
  • Invest in a water tank - it’s one of the best buys you can make. Direct a downpipe from your roof gutters into the tank. Use the stored water to fill your swimming pool and water your garden in summer.
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Adopt these Good Habits during Water Week


South Africa celebrates National Water Week from 16-22 March this year. Why not celebrate the week by adopting these waterwise planting and irrigation habits?

When you plant

  • Plant moisture-loving plants on the south and east side of your home, where they’ll receive less sun. Plant hardier, indigenous plants on the north and west side of your home.
  • Always schedule planting of seedlings, shrubs or trees for early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The hot midday sun will make it far more difficult for new plants to cope, which means they’ll need more water.
  • Dig troughs or basins around thirsty plants such as roses. This way you won’t lose precious water due to “run-off” when irrigating.
  • Always enrich the soil with plenty of compost prior to planting. Compost improves the health and water-retaining capacity of the soil.
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Indigenous winter winners


April is the ideal time to sow seeds of indigenous winter-flowering plants. This is a fun exercise to share with your children and is one of the most cost-effective ways to add masses of colour to your garden in the cooler months ahead. Here’s what you should be sowing this month?

Namaqualand daisies create a spectacular show in winter. The good news is that you can create a little patch of Namaqualand right in your garden. Buy a packet of mixed Namaqualand daisy seeds and sow them directly into the soil. Remember to even out the soil area where you will be sowing and rake it lightly prior to sprinkling the seeds on top. Keep the soil moist until germination and don’t weed the area until your daisies are well established.

Bokbaaivygies grow well in any soil type and develop into a very attractive low-growing groundcover. Don’t overwater them once they are well established.

Nemesias thrive in sunny positions. They will need to be watered if the weather is very dry. Pinch out the growing tips to encourage bushier growth.

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Save water – inside and out ....

Save Water

February is traditionally the hottest month of the year in the Western Cape – and the driest one too. Do your bit to save water by following these water-saving tips in your garden and home.

In your garden :

  • Cover every bare section of soil in your garden beds with a thick dressing of mulch. It keeps the soil about 5°C cooler and also conserves moisture.
  • Water your garden deeply (about 15 minutes per sprinkler setting) twice a week rather than watering for shorter periods more frequently. Deep watering encourages the development of deep, healthy roots.
  • Make sure that your hose pipe, as well as its fittings and nozzles are all in good shape, so that you don’t lose water through leakages.
  • If you’re constantly battling to keep your kikuyu lawn green, consider replacing it with Buffalo grass. It requires far less water and mowing to keep it looking good.
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