Improve your soil health and water holding capacity by working in organic matter such as compost. This also improves the texture of the soil and allows for a faster absorption rate and decreasing the run-off possibilities.
When planting a tree or even a large shrub, place a water pipe in the planting hole directed to the roots to just above the soil level. When you water into this pipe, it will prevent surface evaporation of the water from the soil by taking it directly to the roots.
By watering the garden deeply and less frequently, you encourage the roots to grow deeper and utilise the moisture deep in the ground. This enables the plants to thrive between waterings and in times of drought.
There are several products on the market that serve the purpose of retaining existing moisture in the soil to reduce your watering up to 50%. An excellent product which combines both water retaining granules and a slow release feeding is a product namely Aquasoil.
By mulching your beds with products such as bark, pebbles and gravel, you reduce water evaporation from the soil surface, so there is more water for the plants to absorb. Organic mulches such as grass cuttings, compost, straw, nut shells and shredded newspaper can also be used with excellent results.
Paving pathways as an alternative for grass is a good choice to save water. This is both trendy and visually appealing when Water Wise groundcovers are planted between the pavers.
By using low growing, hardy groundcovers, you effectively create a barrier between the sunlight and the soil surface, decreasing soil temperature and minimizing soil surface evaporation.
In some areas in the garden, shadenet can be used as an alternative to create cover and a shield for the harsh sun, therefore decreasing the stress a plant may experience through wilting in the full sun.
Drip irrigation is the most efficient way of watering because the flow rate is alot slower therefore the plants get to absorb all the water with no run-off at all. A fully automated irrigation system run by a water computer and containing shrub sprayers, pop-ups and smaller sprayers allows you to control the watering according to the weather conditions and not water unnecessarily.
Use bordering or edging around your beds to create pockets for the water to collect in and this will discourage water wastage and focus it more on the plant.