Irrigation can account for up to 20% of your site’s water use. Optimising irrigation settings, understanding where water is being used and choosing waterwise plants are simple and efficient ways to reduce water use.
Get your garden looking great while using less water with these handy tips:
- Choose waterwise plants – they are perfectly adapted to our climate, use less water and are much easier to maintain.
- Improve your soil – mix a soil improver with a wetting agent with the top 30cm of soil when planting. For an established garden, apply from the top.
- Mulch - apply 5-10cm of chunky, coarse mulch to garden beds.
- Hydrozone your plants – group plants with similar watering needs, so that you can set your irrigation system to water each zone according to the needs of the plants in it.
Check out our gardening guides for more handy tips
Watering and irrigation systems
- Invest in an automatic irrigation controller – you can program it to switch irrigation valves (stations) on and off at specific times, making watering your landscaping easy
- Don’t overwater – check the recommended watering times for your sprinkler type
- Know your watering days and stick to the rules
- Only water once on your rostered watering day, between 6pm and 9am
- Watering before 9am is the best practice – water soaks into the roots and is available throughout the day
Maintaining your irrigation system
- Keep an instruction manual near the controller for quick reference and fault finding. Don’t have one? Find the manual for your specific irrigation controller
- Replace worn nozzles, broken seals and leaking pipes and solenoid values with high quality fixtures
- Regularly replace back up batteries, as power outages can affect what you have programmed - a malfunctioning irrigation controller is not an excuse for not complying with your allocated watering days or times!
Ensure your system is tested regularly by your onsite maintenance staff or irrigation service provider. Key maintenance items include:
||What to look for
||- Broken sprinklers or pipes - repair immediately
- Flooding or washed sand patches – may indicate broken underground pipes
- Dying plants or turf - may indicate a fault in the system
||- Clean filters if using non-potable water
- Manually test all stations and check for blocked spray heads, leaks or damage
- Adjust spray radius/arc on sprinklers to ensure water is not spraying on paths, roads or buildings
||- Clean all filters
- Adjust program run times to reflect seasonal changes
- Flush all drip line systems
- Check all solenoid and manual valves
|Start of irrigation season -
beginning of summer or dry season
|- Check for system maintenance issues
- Test bore and pump, if you have one, to make sure it’s working correctly
- Inspect all system components and replace defective ones
- Inspect and clean all filters
- Test and flush system
- Replace batteries in controllers (if required)
|End of irrigation season -
start of winter or end of dry season
|- Flush all drip lines
- Switch off system
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