CALGARY, May 28, 2013 /CNW/ - Each spring and summer, millions of Canadians head to their local greenhouses for plants and flowers. And as part of a growing trend to conserve water, more of them will be opting for low-water plants. Low-water gardening isn't new. But with an increased focus on water preservation, and with some communities enforcing summer watering restrictions, the concept is gaining in popularity.
Here's a quick guide to get you started:
Step 1: Create a plan
- Map out a plan for your yard. Decide on plant placement, with an eye toward colour combinations and spacing.
- Put taller plants in the middle, surrounded by shorter ones.
- Get ideas online or from your local nursery.
Step 2: Prepare the soil
- Assess the soil. If it's hard, sandy or mostly clay, you'll need to bring it up to snuff.
- Turn the soil with a shovel or rototiller. Add manure, compost and/or peat moss. Or bring a soil sample to a gardening centre and they'll tell you what's missing.
- Mix the materials in a wheelbarrow and distribute.
- Work into the ground. Level with a rake.
Step 3: Buy your plants
- Group plants according to watering needs, with shade-tolerant species in shady areas and drought-tolerant species in sunny spots.
- Your local nursery experts can help with plant selection.
- Set the plants in place. Remove each from its pot, dig a hole and plant in the ground.
Step 4: Watering
- Use a soaker hose to get water to the root of plant.
- Water early in the day.
- A new garden needs frequent watering until roots are established.
- Use mulch to help prevent evaporation.
- Once your garden is mature, you can reduce watering to as little as once every two weeks.
Low-water gardening can enhance the beauty of your surroundings while helping save on your water bill.
Image with caption: "The RBC Blue Water Rooftop Garden won gold at the 2013 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London, England. The garden features a central wetland, which captures rainwater run-off, and a winding boardwalk that leads to a dramatic 'bird hide' clad in habitat panels. Low-tech living walls which require no irrigation help enclose the space, and the whole garden is filled with flower-rich planting. (CNW Group/RBC Calgary)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130528_C9493_PHOTO_EN_27189.jpg
SOURCE: RBC Calgary
For further information:
To learn more about protecting water, visit the RBC Blue Water Project at www.rbc.com/bluewater.