Smart Watering in NSW

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Spring and summer temperatures are on the rise again this year with NSW implementing strict watering regulations across the state.

The water restrictions came into effect on 1 June 2019 with fines for non‑compliance being issued at the start of spring, 1 September 2019, across the following locations:

  • Sydney
  • Illawarra
  • Blue Mountains
  • Newcastle
  • Hunter Valley
  • Mid North Coast

Being smart with water will not only ensure you are playing an important role in preserving our precious resource, but will also ensure you do not receive a $220 fine as an individual, or $550 fine for businesses. Follow our tips for staying Water Smart this year and visit the Sydney Water website for more detailed information on the restrictions and how they effect you.

  1. You can use a hand held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle before 10am or after 4pm 
  2. You can water with a watering can or bucket between 10am and 4pm 
  3. You can use drip irrigation systems anytime 
  4. Watering systems featuring automated weather adjustment 
  5. New turf 
  6. Don’ts 

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Water Restriction Rules

1. You can use a hand held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle before 10am or after 4pm

Retractable Hose Reels

We stock a wide variety of hoses that will suit gardens and courtyards of all sizes. Our Retractable Hose Reels not only look smart, but they feature a rewind mechanism that neatly retracts the hose via a zero-tangle layering mechanism that keeps your outdoor space tidy after each watering. For even easier use, opt for our new Battery Powered Hose Reel, which provides motorised retraction at the touch of a button, and is suited to older or arthritic hands. All our Retractable Hose Reels all come fitted with a spray gun or nozzle making them ready for use once they are mounted.

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Retractable Hose Reel
Retractable Hose Reel

Yardmate™ Garden Hoses

Our Yardmate™ garden hoses are also available in many sizes, which can be mix and matched to our watering guns and nozzles. Take the extra step of replacing your tap fittings with our patented Double O-ring Grip ‘n’ Lock fittings, which come in UV resistant plastic or solid brass, and are guaranteed not to leak or drip.

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Yardmate™

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2. You can water with a watering can or bucket between 10am and 4pm

Using a watering can is a great way to learn exactly how much water you are consuming in the garden and is a good way to use up any rainwater collected in buckets or containers. Get your kids involved in smart watering by having them help out using a small watering can! Check out our range of 1.8L and 9L watering cans here.

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3. You can use drip irrigation systems anytime

We love installing drip irrigation because we know it delivers water as close to the roots as possible. No water is wasted on foliage! The versatility of drip irrigation system components means they can be used on garden beds, pots and even hanging or vertical planters. We recommend connecting this type of system to a tap timer to automatically switch it on and off, ideally in the early morning or late afternoon when the temperature has dropped. Drip irrigation, when hooked up to a tap timer, will look after your plants when you are away from the house, so it is perfect to set up before the holiday season. Find out how to put together a drip irrigation system here

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4. Watering systems featuring either an automated weather adjustment, rain sensor or soil moisture sensor

The BTX8 and Dial Ezy Gardener Irrigation Controllers are ‘rain sensor ready’, which means they can have a rain sensor fitted to them so you can continue using your irrigation system safely within the new watering restrictions. Bluetooth® control in the BTX8 allows for easy, app guided set up and is suitable for larger outdoor spaces with up to 8 individual watering zones. If you prefer a traditional keypad and dial switch controller, opt for the Holman Dial Ezy Gardener range. More info on this range here.

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5. New turf

You can water new turf for one week after it is delivered, following instructions from the turf supplier. In this situation, you can use a lawn sprinkler connected to a hose and a tap timer (after one week, you must not use a lawn sprinkler). Before laying turf, talk to your irrigation expert about installing a Holman or K-Rain irrigation system which automates lawn watering and saves you from early morning hand watering. Take a look at our tap timers and lawn sprinklers. Keen to install irrigation yourself? Visit our DIY Irrigation Planner for a walk through of the process and more information about product selection.

Turf Before

Turf After

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6. You cannot at any time:

  • Hose down hard surfaces like paths and driveways (washing vehicles is allowed). Spot cleaning for health, safety or emergency reasons is allowed but only using a hose fitted with a trigger nozzle or high pressure cleaning equipment.
  • Use fire hoses unless for fire-fighting activities.
  • Use hose end sprinklers, soaker hoses, weeper hoses or tap timers controlling hose end watering use (first week of watering new turf is allowed).
  • Leave hoses and taps running unattended.
Exclusions

We recommend checking with your local council first, but exclusions to the above restrictions may apply if watering with recycled water, grey water, rain water (that isn’t topped up from or switched to the drinking water supply), bore water or river water (licence required)

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#SMARTGARDENER Watering Tips

Wetting Agent

 Soil Wetting Agent

Apply a soil wetting agent to your lawn three times a year (early spring, early summer and autumn) to assist water penetration in lawns and garden beds. Wetting agents increase water absorption, improve efficiency of any fertilisers used, reduce water run-off and help eliminate dry patches. Increasing water absorption of soil encourages deeper root growth and ultimately less watering will be required. Choose a product that is earthworm and water run off friendly.

Mulch

 Mulch

Mulching garden beds is essential in Australian summers. Effective mulch will reduce the frequency of watering and keep you plants happy and heat-stress free. There are a variety of mulches available and some are better than others at water retention. Opt for mulch that is more decomposed or broken down than hard wood mulch. Mulch will also smother weeds and add organic matter into the soil as it breaks down, which is beneficial to soil micro-organisms.

Plant Grouping

 Plant Grouping

Group together plants with similar watering needs. Native plants, succulents and cacti will require much less water than leafy green decorative plants and veggies. This is easily done with pot plants, but may require forward planning for established garden beds.

Watering Time

 Watering Time

Water your garden before 10am or after 4pm when it is cooler and water evaporation is less likely to occur. Water at the base of the plant, close to the root zones. Leaves do not require watering. When watering, give the soil a solid soaking but less frequently. This will encourage deeper root growth and a higher resistance to hot and dry weather.

Lawn Mower

 Lawn Mowing

Mow your lawn on a higher blade setting in the hotter months and mow in the evening when the sun is down. This helps keep moisture in the roots. Evening mowing also gives the grass about 12 hours of shade and healing time before the next day.

Weather Station

  Weather Monitoring

Weather Stations are a clever and easy way of keeping tabs on your local weather patterns – as local as your own backyard! Weather occurrences, like rainfall, can often vary slightly between suburbs and although the difference may seem negligible to some people. To the smart gardener, the data collected could mean skipping a watering day because their suburb experienced some overnight rain. Our Aspect Weather Station range is a two-part system consisting of a data gathering station that is mounted within the your property, which transfers environmental data to an LCD screen inside your home, or even direct to your smartphone!.

Traditional rain gauges will also do the trick of displaying overnight or daytime rainfall if you prefer a simple rain monitoring solution.

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Plant Choices

The plants you choose to include in your garden will greatly influence your water usage. Our hot climate will, naturally, favour hardy natives, which can be very creatively designed to complement your home and outdoor space. The range of native plants is so vast in size, texture, shape, colour and even animal, bird and beneficial insect attractiveness. Not only do plants that are suited to our unique climate reduce your water consumption, but they also require less care from the gardener. Head to the Australian Plants Society NSW Plant Database to browse an impressive collection of native grasses, ground covers, wetland plants, shrubs, trees and climbers.

We suggest thinking ahead into hot summer days when setting up vegetable beds and considering a installing a temporary shade cloth covering in peak heat season. Tinted 50% UV protection shade cloth can be attached to timber posts using butterfly clips in a quick DIY afternoon, giving your greens much needed relief from the heat in summer.

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