select
|

Be water wise

As the hot summer months roll on as a constant reminder of the prevalent concern of global warming, it is arguable that water shortages may have become this century’s most burning environmental issue, says Dot Foster, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Oaktree, whose office operates in Stellenbosch.

“Water is a precious commodity and a resource that we all need to survive, so saving water is vital for the sustainability of our environment. With homeowners in South Africa consuming an estimated 30% to 50% of water on watering and maintaining their gardens, it seems that this is the most ideal area where the most water can be saved. While an attractive, established garden can add considerable value to a property, a water-wise garden that takes less water to maintain but is still beautiful makes sense from an environmental and financial view point,” says Foster.

Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa says: "With water a dwindling resource and many consumers becoming more environmentally conscious, a greater emphasis has been placed on green properties. More and more buyers and tenants alike are placing a higher value on eco-friendly properties. Homes with water-wise gardens are attractive because they reduce cost and waste while still maintaining their aesthetic appeal.”

According to Foster, an established garden can be made water-wise with relatively little effort. However, ideally a garden should be designed to be water-wise from the start. The more water-wise the garden is from the outset, the easier and cheaper it will be to maintain and keep beautiful.

Foster gives a few tips that homeowners can use to establish their water-wise garden:

Choose the right plants

Once the decision has been made to concentrate on water-wise plants for your garden, go down to the local nursery and discuss which ones will work in your garden. As a general rule, only indigenous plants should be used as they consume very little water and require minimal maintenance.  Certain bedding plants can consume a lot of water, however by adding mulching to the bed and water retention granules to the soil, the need for water can be substantially reduced.

Group plants with similar watering requirements

Grouping plants that require more water together will mean that only certain areas of the garden will need to be watered regularly. Showcase these plants and have them as a prominent feature of the garden. Once these plants are established, watering can be reduced dramatically.  Plants that require less water can then be considered for the rest of the garden.

Reduce lawn areas

The fewer areas that require watering, the better and lawns guzzle water. Assess how lawn much is needed for things such as entertaining, children playing and pet exercising, and consider reducing these areas without reducing the enjoyment.  Consider adding hardscaping features such as a paved or cobblestone footpath, which will reduce watering areas as well as add to the aesthetic appeal and overall feel of the garden.  The lie of land may influence placement of hardscaping features, particularly if drainage is affected, and water features should be in shaded areas to reduce evaporation.

Lawn maintenance

It is important not to cut the lawn too short during growing season. As a general rule, sprinklers should only water areas that need it and sprinkler timers should be set to early mornings and late afternoons. If it rains, override the system because too much water results in shallow root growth and will encourage fungal and other attacks on the lawn.

“With soaring temperatures and lack of water that Stellenbosch endures this time of year, water-wise gardening is essential. It is not just about saving an important resource, but also sustainability and of course saving money with the higher cost of living today,” Foster concludes.


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 19 Jun 2018
      The Capetonian dream is to live by the ocean with the iconic mountain making an appearance somewhere in the horizon. But, that dream comes with a hefty price tag that many simply cannot afford. But, should you venture some kilometres out of the city centre, entirely new realms of beachside bliss await you …
    • 19 Jun 2018
      Douw Steyn, one of the richest men in the country, recently allowed a rare glimpse into his Fourways Palazzo when it was featured on the SABC lifestyle programme Top Billing - and it is beyond your wildest dreams!
    • 18 Jun 2018
      Many home sellers are motivated to appoint estate agents because they know that the agency will carry the costs of advertising and marketing their property.
    • 18 Jun 2018
      When a property is sold when it has a tenant in occupation, the questions often raised are: “What happens to the tenant if the landlord sells the property?”, and what rights the tenant will have with regards to cancelling the lease or enforcing it, says Sunell Afrika, rentals manager for SAProperty.com.
    • 18 Jun 2018
      Sellers are often caught off-guard by the expenses incurred in the selling of a property. Just like there is no such thing as a free lunch, there is also no such thing as selling your property without incurring at least some costs.
    • 15 Jun 2018
      The second quarter of 2018 has proven to be the turning point for Midrand’s real estate market, especially the upper end which started to waver towards the end of a tumultuous 2017 with a notable drop in both sales and average selling prices.
    • 15 Jun 2018
      According to data recently released by FNB, the average age of a South African home buyer has increased from 38 to 44 this year. In an attempt to help first-time buyers enter the market sooner, Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, walks us through the steps of saving for your first home.
    • 15 Jun 2018
      Putting your house on the market can be a stressful process. There are so many decisions to make that will impact how quickly your house is sold and for how much you can sell it for. It’s a serious money game where you can’t afford to make the wrong decision.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK