Granny Mouse Water Saving Tips

Granny Mouse Country House & Spa, with its distinctive “home away from home” feel and serene and picturesque location along the Lions River, is known for its beautiful garden setting. General Manager, Sean Granger, says that many guests tell them that, on returning home, they feel inspired to begin transforming their own gardens into tranquil hideaways that are perfect for soothing away the stresses and strains of daily life.

He says time, good soil and plenty of water are the three key things that have helped him create the beautiful green spaces around Granny Mouse. But, while the first two can be done with enough effort and some good mulch and fertilizer, it is that all important water that comes from Mother Nature that’s often in short supply.

“Drought and lack of water is frequent in this region, as well as areas where our guests reside, and so we often pass on the many lessons we’ve learnt that enable us to keep the surrounds looking as green and lush as possible, whilst using as little water as we can,” he says.

  1. Plan your garden – choose the right plants for the right spaces and put those needing more watering in areas where there is more natural water and less harsh sunlight. Group plants with similar water needs together if you can. More importantly, choose plants that are water wise and don’t require constant and copious watering. These are usually indigenous varieties that are well adapted to local conditions and far more tolerant of fluctuations in rainfall.
  2. Time your watering – The general rule is not to water during the hottest parts of the day when the heat causes rapid evaporation and your plants are left thirsting for more. Early mornings are best as temperatures are low and there is also not usually too much wind. Evenings are second best but beware leaving leaves covered in water as the sun sets, as this could encourage the growth of fungi. Pots are often best watered in the evenings.
  3. Install a good drip based irrigation system rather than using wasteful overhead sprinklers – again, the idea is to contain wastage by minimizing evaporation. Adding a timer will help if you tend to forget to switch off.
  4. Harvest water – Whilst the obvious one is to install rainwater harvesting tanks to catch water from gutters, there are a number of other places where water can be saved for re-use. Keep a bucket handy to store water that would run down the drain while you are waiting for it to warm up for a shower or to wash your dishes. Re-use nitrogen and phosphorous-rich water to water your flowers when cleaning out your fish tank. The same goes for water used to cook or steam veggies – just let it cool first! Use water from backwashing your swimming pool for irrigation, too.
  5. Air conditioners and valves handling the overflow are great for watering when you don’t even know you’re doing it. Position pots to catch the drips.

Use plenty of mulch and make sure your beds are well composted either with purchased products, worm farms or material from your home compost patch. The general rule is that the richer the organic material the better as this holds on to water and tends to prevent too much evaporation. For pots, you can even purchase granules that expand and retain water so that you have to water less frequently. These are great for hanging pots and baskets which tend to dry out more quickly.

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