Meanwhile, target plants you know are needy; invest in a moisture meter (cheap from hardware stores); and use enough watering cans to shift the needle from dry to moist. For potted plants, a bucket is better. The watering-can spray simply washes over the plant and never gets into the soil, and if you take the rose off, the water flows too fast and goes straight through the mix. A wide trug is the best bucket for the job. Fill it with water and submerge the plant until bubbles stop rising, then drain the plant in another bucket. Alternatively let the plant sit in a few centimetres of water in the trug for a few hours, then drain and move onto the next pot.

Under the new restrictions, drip irrigation systems can be used, but only for 15 minutes at a time, which will moisten the top few millimetres of soil, encouraging plants to develop unsustainably shallow roots. Very poor gardening practice – don’t do it.

In the house, collect water to use in the garden, and wash up in a square bucket that fits inside the sink. Keep the water in the bucket for rinsing plates during the day so you can use a less thirsty dishwashing cycle, and when you’ve had good use of the water, throw it on the lawn.

Don’t think it’s all too hard. Be strategic and you can keep your garden thriving, while we wait for our leaders come up with better water-use strategies than making life harder for gardeners.



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