A scene in our garden. The tree in the centre above the birdbath is a putaputaweta or marbleleaf, another valuable native tree. A native flax bush is on the left.
When going around the streets last January, we noticed a lot of dry lawns and probably equally dry flowers and shrubs.
Unfortunately, the effect of the Rowan and Dougherty water meters imposed on Kapiti people in 2014 has been to install a mentality of ‘the council is going to punish us for using water’. Well, the council’s own propaganda claims there is enough underground water to last 50 years at the present rate of growth, and even if you don’t believe that (we don’t), there will be enough to last some years until a reservoir is built, so don’t feel guilty about it. As for cost, you are only paying $1 per 1,000 litres — and if you don’t use the water, the council will hike that rate so that you’ll be paying the same anyway (see the post from June).
Gardens need water to survive and given the amount of time and expense many Waikanae people devote to them, adequate water in the hot dry months is one essential ingredient that you should not economize on.
As has been stated in previous posts, the Kapiti Coast gets plenty of rainfall, except between January and March, sometimes April, and this is when you need your irrigation in place.
The roots of plants need water, not the leaves. Pouring water on the base of the shrub with a bucket will work, or if it’s an established tree use a hose. There are ground level irrigation systems for vegetable and flower beds available at hardware stores.
Another method which we use are Watering Spikes. These release a controlled amount of water that reaches deep into the soil. You simply screw them onto any 1.5 or 2-litre soft drink bottle filled with water, turn them upside down and then insert them into hanging baskets, potted plants, garden and vegetable beds. These only cost about $1 each.