With the predicted hot, long summer ahead of us, many homeowners are thinking about the future of their gardens and lawns. Will they survive the heat of summer as the soil dries out and moisture becomes scarce? A growing number of South West gardeners are turning to waterwise, low-nutrient native gardens as a solution.
GeoCatch has been working with suburban homeowners to convert their lawn verges to native gardens. The Bay OK Gardens’ native verge project provides advice and guidance on removing turf, soil improvement, selecting appropriate species that will survive and thrive, and can help in designing layouts for verge garden renovations.
This spring, GeoCatch and Busselton Water are looking for six neighbours in Busselton to team up to reduce their water bills by turning their lawn verges into waterwise, low-nutrient, Bay OK native verge gardens. The Bay OK team will mentor these neighbours in Bay OK gardening, assisting with their plans and ensuring their native verges look wonderful and thrive.
“Bay OK encourages gardeners to choose WA native plants and wildflowers, which are beautiful and will do well in our conditions. Choosing the right plants for your garden is just one of the keys to success,” explains Lisa Massey, GeoCatch’s Bay OK officer.
Homeowners who have installed native verge gardens have discovered that native plants are much easier to care for than lawn and introduced plants. So what can you do to prepare your garden for summer? Follow these Bay OK gardening tips to make the most of every drop.
- Improve your soil to increase the water holding capacity. You can improve your soil by adding organic matter from compost and composted manure products and amending the soil with clays.
- Keep water in your soil with mulch. A waterwise layer of coarse chunky mulch protects beneficial soil microbes and helps to regulate soil temperature.
- Use a quality wetting agent to combat water-repellant soil. Apply multiple times over summer to garden beds, lawns and potted plants.
- Choose WA native plant species. This region’s wildflowers, shrubs and trees are suited to surviving and thriving in our soils and climate conditions.
If you and your neighbours would like to sign up for Bay OK’s new native verge garden initiative, email email@example.com or phone GeoCatch on 0491 069 078.
This project is supported by funding from Busselton Water’s community partnerships program and state government-funded Healthy Estuaries WA and Revitalising Geographe Waterways programs. These State Government initiatives aim to support the long-term health of our south-west waterways.