Drought-proofing Your Toowoomba Garden
Do you love spending your weekends out in the garden, tending to your diverse plant life?
Or perhaps you’re interested in creating a stunning green space to improve the value of your property? Whatever the reason you’re in the garden, droughts can have a detrimental effect. Let’s explore why drought-proofing your Toowoomba garden is so important.
Current Toowoomba water restrictions
Water restrictions make everyday life just that little bit more complicated, and while they are absolutely necessary for the wellbeing of the entire city, it means you have to keep a close eye on things like taps, showers, dishwashers, washing machines and more.
For gardeners, Toowoomba’s current water restrictions may mean you can’t maintain your plants in the way you would like. Thankfully we aren’t at severe levels like Stanthorpe and its surrounding areas, but it’s important to make sure you don’t exceed the limits.
Toowoomba City, Highfields, Westbrook and Crows Nest are all on medium restrictions (175 litres per person per day), however, travel further afield to Vale View and Cambooya and you’re down to 150 litres, as of December 2019.
Check the website to know your current limits, and what you can and cannot do – and when. Those with pools should pay careful attention to top-up limits, and there are also guidelines on using hoses, washing cars, and more.
Look after the soil
Every gardener knows that the best way to have thriving plants is to invest in healthy soil. There are many things you can do to increase your soil quality, and make it more resistant to drought, including:
- Treating the soil with a wetting agent or water crystals to make it hold moisture for longer.
- Improving the soil with organic matter such as compost from kitchen or garden scraps.
- Applying a layer of mulch, to insulate the soil from the heat of the day and avoid some water evaporation.
- Removing weeds, which feed on the same precious water you want your plants to receive.
It’s also important to water early in the morning, or in the evening, so the plants get the best chance of having a drink without the sun evaporating the water first.
Top picks for drought-resistant plants
So how can you keep a thriving garden despite the drought and water restrictions? If you’re willing to spend a little on drought-tolerant plants you can pick them up at your local nursery. A few good, hardy, drought-tolerant options include:
- Agave plants
- Succulents like aloe vera
- Kangaroo paw
- Rosemary and thyme (with the added bonus of being great for cooking!)
Recycled water tips
Environmental consciousness is top of the list for a lot of serious gardeners these days, and water needs to be at the heart of their landscaping strategies. There are so many ways you can reuse water for the benefit of your garden – and it’ll be kinder on your bank balance when the water bill arrives.
It may not currently be raining, but installing a rainwater tank to collect water from your roof is a great way to store water to use in your garden.
The Darling Downs region is still in the midst of one of the worst droughts in its history, so it’s unsurprising that so many people and organisations are looking to recycled water. Toowoomba residents might not be ready for recycled drinking water, but that doesn’t mean we can’t use recycled water from washing machines, baths, sinks and showers, to keep our gardens looking fabulous. Golf courses around Toowoomba are already using Class C recycled water, while a couple of master gardeners have created a recycled greywater system that ‘mimics rain’.
Speaking of greywater, using wastewater in your garden is still something of an untapped resource in Australia. It’s a way to reduce your impact on the environment and maintain a garden even during the most serious of droughts.
Drought-proofing with the help of experts
If you’re not keen on greywater or uprooting your entire garden just to refill it with drought-resistant plants, there are other options at your disposal. Your first port of call should be to speak to an expert at the council or local nursery. They will be able to advise on local natives that thrive in Toowoomba’s climate and even offer tips on maintaining your current garden within the tight water restrictions.
Lush and colourful Toowoomba
Toowoomba is known for its fantastic gardens. But did you know a well-landscaped property can also seriously increase the value of your property? To find out more, contact an experienced local agent today.