The driest continent on earth invests huge amounts of water in keeping lawns green and rose bushes blooming. The recent hottest summers on record remind us to use water carefully. Watering our gardens in the evening is one way that we can respect the power of the sun and keep our plants alive.
Despite occasional deluges across many parts of Australia, much of the country remains drought declared. The intense heat of the weeks between Christmas and the return to school will continue to play havoc with many plants in our gardens, especially those of European origins.
The danger is that we waste water trying to keep them alive only to watch them frizzle to nothing on a particularly hot day.
Here’s a plan
The water in the ground is the water that feeds our plants and rivers. By watering in the evening, we give it time to soak in before the sun sucks it up into the sky and away. Use a full stream of water at the base of each plant to let it soak in, rather than spraying water all over the garden. Watering a quarter of the garden for one hour at a time is more effective than whizzing over the whole place in the same time.
Even though most of us live in cities, understanding the way that water works is an important part of successfully keeping our green space alive. Trees and plants suck water out of the ground to grow. The effect is to cool the air by releasing moisture into it. That’s why it’s always cooler near trees than it is in the open. That’s also why it is much better to wash cars and other things on the lawn than it is on the footpath. Getting as much water as possible into the ground nurtures our planet so it can nurture us.