Blade of grass with water droplets

Lawn and garden care during level 1 water restrictions

Garden Life
Many states have been practicing water wise measures in various shapes and forms for years now, others are lucky enough to have no restrictions at all. After a short period at level 2 water restrictions, Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra are now back under level 1 water restrictions so let’s see what this means for your lawn and garden.

Defining water

An important question to ask yourself is “where does my water come from?” If you are using recycled water, greywater, rainwater or bore water then level 1 restrictions do not apply to you. They only apply to drinking water so continue as you were. If you are using drinking water then read on.

Timing is everything

During level 1 water restrictions, watering of lawns and gardens must be done before 10 am or after 4 pm using a hand-held hose fitted device that you can turn off instantly to help save water (trigger nozzles and wands will do the trick). If you need to water between 10 am and 4 pm then you’ll have to use a watering can or bucket which is not ideal when watering the lawn.

Regardless of restrictions, early morning is always the ideal time to water.

The “Clever Watering” exceptions

To every rule there is an exception and level 1 water restrictions are no different. Clever watering products get the gold star so if you equip yourself with a drip irrigation system, automated weather adjustment, rain sensor and soil moisture sensor you can water your lawn or garden any time. Now is a great time to have a look at the GARDENA  Soil Moisture Sensor and pair it up with a GARDENA Water Computer.

Special case: New turf

New turf requires special care and therefore Sydney Water has drawn up special instructions in the case of a new turf delivery.

A hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle can be used for up to four weeks from the delivery date, following the watering plan below. This applies to areas of any size.

Sprinklers and watering systems can be used for up to four weeks from the delivery date, following the watering plan below. This only applies if you have a continuous area of new turf larger than 30 m2.

Watering plan for new turf

Week 1: Water up to three times a day, for a maximum of 30 minutes each session, at any time of day.
Week 2 & 3: Water up to two times a day, for a maximum of 15 minutes each session. You can only water before 10 am and after 4 pm.
Week 4: Water before 10 am and after 4 pm, for a maximum of 30 minutes, on no more than three days during that week.
After week 4, you can only water your turf following the water restrictions. This means you can water before 10 am and after 4 pm with a bucket or watering can or hand-held hose fitted with a trigger nozzle. You can also use a smart irrigation system or drip irrigation system.

If you have any doubts or questions, it’s best to get in touch with the agency that manages your area.