Saving water in your garden

Tips and advice to help save water in the garden.

Outdoor water use accounts for 25–50% of the average home’s water. Gardens are an area where huge amounts of water are wasted. Examples include leaving sprinkler systems running for longer than needed and hosing down paths.

It’s worth thinking about reducing the amount of water you use on your garden, collecting rainwater and recycling greywater. With the use of water-saving technologies and a bit of planning, you can have an attractive and productive garden and use water wisely.

Garden products with the Smart Approved WaterMark label can make your watering more efficient. This includes mulches, soil-wetting agents and irrigation controllers. There are also rainwater diverters to capture water to use on the garden and greywater systems to help reuse water around the home.

Install a rainwater tank

  • Rainwater tanks save water and help save the environment.
  • Rainwater tanks provide flexibility for garden watering.
  • You can connect your rainwater tank to your toilet and/or laundry to save even more water.
  • Using rainwater instead of mains water reduced the water volume charges on your water bill.

For more information, see Greywater and rainwater.

Use mulch

  • Mulch can reduce evaporation of water from soil by up to 70%.
  • Mulch suppresses weeds, adds nutrients and reduces run off and soil movement.

Only water when needed

  • Put your finger into the soil. If it’s moist below the surface you don’t need to water.
  • Check the weather forecast. If there’s rain due, let the rain do your watering for you.
  • Only water between the hours of 6pm and 10am to reduce evaporation.
  • Only water the plant root zone to avoid wasting water where plants won’t use it.
  • Use drip irrigation under mulch. This is the most water–efficient method for garden watering.

Select plants carefully

  • Select plants that have low watering needs.
  • Position plants with similar watering needs together. This saves water and also helps keep plants healthier by giving them the right amount of water.
  • Consider your soil type and amount of shade when selecting plants.

Check for leaks

  • Check your taps regularly for signs or sounds of leaks.
  • A tap dripping at a rate of 1 drip per second loses over 12,000 litres a year. Garden taps are cheap and easy to replace.
  • Wet patches on the ground could indicate a possible underground leaking pipe or watering system. Call a plumber to fix any leaking pipes.

Permanant water saving rules

The permanent water saving rules are common-sense rules to help us use water efficiently across Victoria. The Victorian Government sets these rules and they apply to everyone in Victoria. Permanant water saving rules apply every day of the year.

For more information, see Permanent water saving rules.