Garden & pool

A garden that makes the most of its natural environment can thrive for longer before it needs additional water.

Water efficient products

  • Hoses - Ensure that your hose is fitted with a trigger nozzle and manually water your garden to reduce the risk of over-watering.
  • Drip irrigation - Install drip irrigation to help conserve water by reducing evaporation. Garden irrigation takes a little planning, but this video from Bunnings provides some helpful tips. 
  • Rainwater tanks - Install a rainwater tank to reduce your reliance on drinking water, reduce your water bills and help the environment.
  • Pools - Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation. Act quickly if you suspect you have a leak in your pool, its pipes or fittings. Leaks waste a lot of water and small problems can get much bigger over time.

Gardening tips

  • Water your garden before 10 am or after 4 pm to reduce water loss through evaporation.
  • Water each plant's roots, not the leaves.
  • When you water, give your garden and lawn a good soaking, but water less frequently. This will help your plants and grass send their roots deeper into the soil in search of water, building resistance to hot and dry weather.
  • Lift the blades on your mower to a higher setting to allow your lawn to grow a little longer. This will also help reduce heat stress through the hotter months.
  • Apply a generous layer of mulch to retain the moisture in your garden and to save even more water. It’s also a great way to stop weeds.
Did you know that a good quality mulch will protect your garden, reduce evaporation and keep the moisture around plant roots? It’s also a great way to stop weeds.

Choose the right plants

Watering plants watering can

Choose plants suited to the local area so you don't need to water as often.

By choosing plants that are suited to your local soil and weather conditions, you can save water without restricting your choice of garden design. Head to our Plant selector to see which plants will best suit your garden.  

Choose the best place to plant

Place plants in an area closest to where they grow naturally. Your plants will have more chance to thrive and you’ll reduce your garden's water needs.

  • The southern sides of houses are cooler, shadier and less exposed to the sun and hot, dry winds.
  • The northern and western sides of homes are typically hotter and get more sunlight throughout the year.
  • Back gardens are often shadier, wind protected and cooler than front gardens.

Know your soil

Soil types across Sydney range from pure sand to clay. The Office of Environment and Heritage can help you find out What kind of soil you have in your backyard - or grab a spade and go and have a look!

  • Your soil acts like a rainwater tank. The type and depth of your soil determines how much water it can store.
  • Sand-based soils hold very little water and water can tend to drain below the root zone very quickly.
  • Clay-based soils also hold very little water, and many plants will find it hard to get water from the clay.
  • The best soil is loam - a mix of sand, clay and organic matter. Any soil will be improved by adding composted organic matter including animal manures.
  • Slopes mean water can run off before the soil has a chance to absorb it. Applying too much water, or applying it too quickly, can also cause run-off. This may also cause erosion.
  • Plants in a deep loam soil have a much better chance of surviving a week-long heatwave without extra watering compared to the same plants in sandy or clay soils.
Did you know that the best loam soil, 30 cm deep, can hold up to 25 mm of water? The same depth of sandy soil or clay soil will hold just 5 mm of water.

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Watering your garden before 10 am or after 4 pm helps avoid water loss through evaporation.