How much water does your garden need?

Many people struggle to know how much to water their garden.  Do you water for 20 minutes, 40 minutes, or more?  How many days per week? And what type of sprinklers should you use?

If you have a mix of native plants and exotics, how much water does each plant type need to survive and thrive?  And how do you know if your sprinklers are applying the right amount?

It sure can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. There are some general rules of thumb to help you work it all out.

Dry Season

As a general guide we recommend the 3, 2, 1 watering guide in the dry season:

  • Three days a week for grass and lawn
  • Two days a week for exotics such as fruit trees and palms
  • One day a week or less for native plants and trees such as acacias, grevilleas and eucalypts.

Your garden needs about 10 mm of water each time you irrigate (you can work out how long to run your irrigation to reach 10mm by doing a catch can test)

The 3, 2, 1 watering guide above will encourage your plants to grow deep root systems giving them better access to water and nutrients in the soil.  If you have been watering your garden more frequently, say twice a day, you should wean it to the 3, 2, 1 watering guide gradually. 

It’s a good idea to keep in mind that this is a guide and not a rule, as every garden is different and can require different amounts of water.  However by using this as a general guide to get started in water efficient irrigation, you can alter the amount you water by 5 minutes at a time until you reach a watering amount that you and your garden are happy with. 

You can also alter the amount you irrigate each day according to factors such as the depth of your soil, hydrozoning and the age of your plants.

Wet Season and Build Up 

When it rains, your garden may receive more or less than 10 mm - which is about the amount your garden needs each time it gets a water.  Keep an eye on your weather apps and websites to find out how much rain your suburb has received. 

If your garden receives 10 mm or more, you can safely turn your irrigation off for a couple of days.  If you receive less than 10 mm you may still need to water, but perhaps reduce how long you water.  It’s that simple!

Smart irrigation Controllers

Don’t have the time or interest in keeping an eye on the weather?  Or not sure how to adjust your irrigation controller each time the weather changes?   Consider investing in a smart irrigation controller.

Smart irrigation controllers can automatically control and adjust the amount of water your garden receives based on weather data.  If you have a smart irrigation controller ensure your pre-programmed weather triggers include a setting that instructs the controller to switch off if more than 10 mm of rain is received.

Get your free Garden Tune Up

If this all sounds a bit confusing or over-whelming, or if your irrigation needs a bit of work, why not get a free Garden Tune Up.  A registered irrigation controller will audit your irrigation system and set your controller to be water efficient.  They will also give you advice to help you keep a water smart, healthy and happy garden and do small on the spot repairs up to the value of $50. 

Living Water Smart's Garden Tune Up provides a free garden irrigation audit at your home or business by one of our registered irrigation experts. The irrigator will reprogram your irrigation controller to provide your garden with the water it needs, when it needs it. It also includes up to $50 of on-the-spot irrigation repairs.