Home' Outdoors : WAs Best Outdoors and Gardens 2009 Contents CHOOSING THE RIGHT PLANTS
Not all plants are equal -- at least not in the amount of water they need. Some
need watering a lot more frequently than others.
So if we want to make the most of our water we should choose those that
are the most efficient.
ese are categorized as "one drop" plants but just because they are
efficient doesn't mean they are dull, grey and lifeless or cacti with spines.
Sure those are tough but they are lots of others that look almost lush and
yet need very little water. Of course there's lots of colour too.
To fi nd a one drop plant for that special place in your garden go to the
Water Corporations website and click on Waterwise Plants for Perth Gardens.
is is an extensive database that lets you choose what type and size plant
you want, the colour and season of its flowers and the style of garden it will fit
into. Once you've decided what you want, click on the search button and you
will be presented with a thumbnail list of plants that fit your criteria.
Click on the thumbnail to see a larger picture and get further information.
My special tip for this site is to use the keyword search.
If you don't know the full name or don't know how to spell it, have a guess
at part of the name in the keyword box and hit search.
Chances are you will find what you want. is box is also very useful for
finding a plant under an old name.
Of course you can also seek expert personal help on plant selection and
also get lots of waterwise tips by visiting your local waterwise garden centre.
Visit the Water Corporation website to find the one nearest to you.
MULCH ADO ABOUT SOMETHING
It's nice to see that just about everybody mulches their garden nowadays.
Unfortunately not all mulches benefit the garden. Some are much better
If you want a really good mulch, choose a waterwise one that has large
and irregularly shaped particles that hold little or no water.
Coarse mulches that have these characteristics will allow water though
to the soil while preventing evaporation from the soil surface.
Such mulches will also reduce weeds, prevent erosion, reduce stress on
plant roots by evening out temperature variations and, in time, break down
and feed the soil.
What more could you want?
If you are unsure about your mulch, take your shoes and socks off and
walk on it. If it hurts your feet it's a good mulch.
FEED THE SOIL NOT THE PLANT
Over the past few years we have mistakenly adopted the idea that we have
to feed plants and have almost ignored the needs of the soil.
e truth is that it is the soil that does the work and it is the soil that needs
feeding in order to grow healthy plants.
So put aside the fertiliser for a while and try applying organic matter to the
soil instead, even spreading it over old and tired lawns.
You may be amazed at the results you get and you certainly will have
healthier plants as a result.
Organic matter is too valuable and fragile to leave on the surface though,
so rake and water it in on lawns and cover it with a good waterwise mulch in
the garden areas.
And, of course, that good mulch is also slowly breaking down and feeding
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