(NC)—Each spring and summer, millions of Canadians head to their local greenhouses for plants and flowers. And as part of a growing trend to conserve water, more of them will be opting for low–water plants. Low–water gardening isn't new. But with an increased focus on water preservation, and with some communities enforcing summer watering restrictions, the concept is gaining in popularity.
Here's a quick guide to get you started:
Step 1: Create a plan
• Map out a plan for your yard. Decide on plant placement, with an eye toward colour combinations and spacing.
• Put taller plants in the middle, surrounded by shorter ones.
• Get ideas online or from your local nursery.
Step 2: Prepare the soil
• Assess the soil. If it's hard, sandy or mostly clay, you'll need to bring it up to snuff.
• Turn the soil with a shovel or rototiller. Add manure, compost and/or peat moss. Or bring a soil sample to a gardening centre and they'll tell you what's missing.
• Mix the materials in a wheelbarrow and distribute.
• Work into the ground. Level with a rake.
Step 3: Buy your plants
• Group plants according to watering needs, with shade–tolerant species in shady areas and drought–tolerant species in sunny spots.
• Your local nursery experts can help with plant selection.
• Set the plants in place. Remove each from its pot, dig a hole and plant in the ground.
Step 4: Watering
• Use a soaker hose to get water to the root of plant.
• Water early in the day.
• A new garden needs frequent watering until roots are established.
• Use mulch to help prevent evaporation.
• Once your garden is mature, you can reduce watering to as little as once every two weeks.
Low–water gardening can enhance the beauty of your surroundings while helping save on your water bill. To learn more about protecting water, visit the RBC Blue Water Project at www.rbc.com/bluewater.
To celebrate our most precious resource, RBC has launched Join the Wave – an online campaign to create a global wave of support for water protection. To participate, simply upload your photo and a message about water to our Facebook stadium at www.facebook.com/rbcbluewaterproject.