• Staff writer

HOW TO BE CLIMATE-SMART AND PLANT INDIGENOUS



South Africa is one of the driest countries on earth and the 30th poorest country in terms of available water resources per person in the world. It is therefore up to us to use our water carefully – not least when planning and planting our gardens. The following four steps can be considered when planning and planting a garden:


  • plant indigenous: in order to be climate-smart, choose plants, trees, shrubs, succulents and annuals that are locally indigenous, and create shade where you need it most;

  • group plants cleverly: during the planning phase, try to group plants according to their water needs, grouping together those that need less water and those that require more, elsewhere. Use pots for the most thirsty of plant species. Also, carefully plan the size of your lawn and the type of grass you choose in order to manage watering it;

  • make the most of your soil: avoid leaving soil uncovered and use a mulch wherever possible. Uncovered soil will dry out quickly. Also opt for a no-till approach so that soil becomes naturally nutrient-rich and healthy. Use compost wherever you can to improve the organic content in the soil;

  • plant watering policy: introduce irrigation that uses water efficiently, such as a drip irrigation system. Water plants according to the needs of the soil type and be sure to water early morning or late evening. It’s definitely a good idea to re-use grey water in the garden and be sure to catch and store rainwater as well.


Trees offer the ideal framework when planning a garden.


www.wwf.org.za/ourwork/water

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