Local homeowners are preparing their gardens to survive a hot summer with water-efficient irrigation, clever garden design, and soil amendments to ensure water and nutrients are retained in the soil for plants to access. Garden Guru and WA media celebrity Darren Seinor ran a workshop at Origins Market, teaching participants about waterwise gardening in preparation for summer.
Hosted by GeoCatch’s Bay OK Gardens project, participants learned how to set up a waterwise garden and prepare for hot weather. Sharing his wealth of knowledge as a professional landscaper and certified waterwise irrigator, Darren demonstrated the process he follows when establishing a new garden or preparing an existing garden for summer.
“There are many ways to retain moisture in your garden and reduce water use. Retaining soil moisture will help keep your property cool and turn your garden into a beautiful oasis throughout summer. It is important to know about your soil type, which plants will thrive in your location, how to water efficiently and how to keep the moisture in the ground once it is there” said Darren.
Making your garden waterwise is achievable once you understand the key elements to success. Before summer heat arrives, start planning for water efficiency with a maintenance program on your irrigation system. If you are on sandy soil, add soil amendments to improve the moisture-holding capacity. Adding clay, soil wetter, compost matter, and a thick layer of coarse chunky mulch will help retain moisture in the soil profile.
Lisa Massey runs GeoCatch’s Bay OK project, showing homeowners how to successfully garden on sandy soil without letting nutrients run off into our waterways and Geographe Bay. “Adoption of waterwise gardening can help gardeners protect our waterways. In Summer, our urban waterways can receive high levels of nutrients from irrigation runoff and leaching. If we apply these simple gardening techniques, we can prevent a lot of fertiliser from entering our waterways,” said Lisa.
Workshop participant and local gardener Andrea Mariotto was impressed with the level of information provided at the workshop. “I better understand the impact of my fertilising and irrigation on the environment in summer. I’m looking forward to converting my grassy street verge to a native garden with water-efficient irrigation,” said Andrea.
The Bay OK Gardens project regularly holds workshops to promote actions that protect Geographe Bay and the waterways and tributaries that flow into it. More information on Bay OK gardening and event announcements can be found at Bay OK Gardens | GeoCatch
This project is delivered by GeoCatch, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, in partnership with South West Catchments Council. This project is also part of Healthy Estuaries WA and Revitalising Geographe Waterways. These State Government initiatives aim to support the long-term health of our south-west waterways.
GeoCatch is currently offering assistance to homeowners wanting to remove woody weeds from their properties in partnership with Western Australian Government’s State NRM program and the City of Busselton.