Get set for a dry summer

Published: Thu 15 Oct 2015 05:14 PM
Get set for a dry summer
Wellington Water is urging gardeners to prepare for summer and help conserve water by using mulch to "summerproof" their gardens.
"If there's one thing you should do for your garden this summer, this is it," says Alex van Paassen, Wellington Water’s Community Engagement Manager. "Mulch cuts evaporation by up to 70% and protects your soil's absorbency. You won't need to water as often, and any watering you do stands a better chance of reaching the roots of your plants. Mulch also helps to keep weeds down."
"Last summer was pretty dry and resulted in a water shortage. NIWA is predicting a dry summer this year, so more mulching and less watering could help avoid a repeat of last summer's sprinkler ban," says Alex.
Water use by Wellington's four cities rises every year during summer and can be 50% higher than in winter. A lot of the increased demand comes from garden watering – a garden hose can spray away 1,000 litres of water per hour - that's as much as a family of four would use in a winter's day.
Alternate day garden watering restrictions are now in place in Porirua, Wellington, Lower Hutt and Upper Hutt. Check out our website for more information.
Gardeners should follow these four simple steps:
• Use mulch
• Test soil moisture before watering
• Water only around your plant's roots
• Time sprinkler sessions to 30 minutes - once a week should be enough
Garden watering restrictions
One garden watering system or sprinkler may be used between 6-8am and 7-9pm only:
• Porirua, Wellington, Lower Hutt
o Even-numbered houses can water on even days
o Odd-numbered houses can water on odd days
• Upper Hutt
o Even-numbered houses can water on Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays
o Odd-numbered houses can water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays

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