How To Stretch Water

As far as water management and keeping plants alive go, a gardener has two main concerns. One is to save a precious resource and two is to channel it directly where it is most needed – the roots of a plant.

Use a soil wetting agent

Hydrophobic sandy soil which repels water causing run-off and poor water penetration, and bark-based potting soil which has dried out for too long and is difficult to rehydrate, are two problems which can easily be solved with the use of Waterwise 3D. This biodegradable product which can be mixed with water in a watering can for easy application, breaks the waxy residue on hydrophobic soils allowing water to penetrate deeper into the soil reaching plant roots where it is most needed. As it also improves the efficiency of fertilisers, stronger, deeper and denser roots are encouraged so that much less watering is required.

This is a very handy product to use for hanging baskets and large containers that always dry out fast. A mix of 500ml of Waterwise 3D per ½ L of water can treat 1 square meter of soil. Apply it directly on the soil (not on plant leaves) every 60 days.

Prevent seedling loss

Planting seedlings of winter vegetables and winter-flowering annuals is a pleasure we have in May, but one can sometimes experience plant loss caused by water stress in soil with a low water holding capacity and during dry periods. Aquafix, a polymer planting gel, acts as a water reservoir assuring seedling survival as it absorbs water and nutrients up to 300 times its weight while slowly releasing the water in the plant’s root zone. It forms a slurry when mixed with water which can be applied to the soil before planting seedlings, and can also be added to the individual planting holes of bigger plants like perennials and shrubs.

Clean pond water

Clear Pond consists of about 20 strains of natural microbes which do battle with algae for nutrients in pond water. They reduce nitrates, phosphates and prevent sludge build up. The result is a healthy microbial balance in the pond, improved water quality, and most importantly, there is no harm to fish or water plants. Clear Pond can be used in koi ponds and all types of water features.

These products are available nationwide at garden centres and hardware stores. For more visit www.makhro.co.za.

The Gardener