Gardening during the drought

Many areas across Australia are suffering from months (or years) of drought and water restrictions are now in place in multiple cities and towns.

It can be challenging gardening during such harsh conditions, however here are a few tips to help conserve water, choose plants that are more tolerant of dry conditions and keep your garden going until the rain eventually arrives:



  • Apply a generous layer of mulch over garden beds, vegie patches and pots to help reduce the amount of moisture lost from the soil or potting mix.
  • Apply a soil wetting agent, like Yates® Waterwise™ Soil Wetter, which helps to break down the waxy, water repellent layer that can develop on soil and potting mix. This helps makes the most of any rain or irrigation by enabling water to penetrate down into the soil much more evenly and effectively.
  • Soil that contains lots of organic matter can hold more moisture, so regularly mix concentrated sources of organic matter into the soil such as Yates Dynamic Lifter®.
  • Water your lawn and garden in the cool of the early morning, rather than in the heat of the middle of the day, to reduce evaporation. Be mindful of any watering rules that might apply in your area.
  • Apply Yates Waterwise DroughtShield™, which is a specialised polymer film, over the leaves of sensitive plants to help reduce moisture loss.
  • Keep a bucket in your shower to collect the cool water until it runs hot, that would normally be lost down the drain. You can then use this water on your garden.
  • When planting new plants, look for varieties that are described as being ‘dry tolerant’. These plants will often have leathery, small or hairy leaves and are better adapted to growing in drier conditions. Drought hardy plants include Australian natives like banksia, bottlebrush and westringia, Mediterranean plants like lavender and rosemary and also many cacti and succulents. Click here for more drought tolerant plants

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