Heroic Hydrozoning

Become the hero of your garden by saving water and protecting your plants from dying in a drought. The new climate cycle, El Niño,

Become the hero of your garden by saving water and protecting your plants during the dry summer ahead. The new climate cycle, El Niño, is predicted to reach us at the start of 2024, which includes heat waves and less rainfall. Luckily Life is a Garden is preparing all green fingers with loads of practical ways you can go about maintaining a lush garden. One of the easiest ways is to begin with Hydrozoning. 

Garden jargon check

Hydrozoning is a landscaping technique where plants of similar water requirements are grouped together, grown in the same area. This can be done in beds as well as mixed containers. You may have to do a bit of admin in the beginning, but once you have made the necessary transplants, hydrozoning will save you hours of maintenance time and many litres of water. 

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Water warriors

Hydrozoning also allows you to keep better track of your watering schedule and it prevents over/underwatering of plants. You can set your irrigation system to only water certain beds as opposed to the full garden that isn't actually at risk of dying soon. For example, a mixed bed with aloes and canna lilies are not the best match as aloes are low water and canna lilies are high. You can see that a bed like this would not be efficient during a drought as the aloes will be receiving unnecessary water. 

The key is not to get rid of your beloved canna lilies, for example, but to provide these plants with a bedding bestie that has similar needs. Your Garden Centre will be able to give you great advice on which plants to pair up. If you are unsure about your current bedding companions, post a picture on Life is a Garden’s SA Seasonal Grow Guide group on Facebook and our experts will help you identify the plants and make helpful companion suggestions. 

The flower tribe has spoken

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Here’s a quick overview of SANA’s stats accumulated over the past two months. How well do you really know your consumers? 

Most-bought seed packets

  1. Flowers
  2. Vegetables

 Big spenders

  1. Perennials flowers
  2. Annual flowers
  3. Trees and shrubs

 Outdoor top-sellers

  1. Flowers
  2. Seedlings

Garden care

  1. Compost and potting soil
  2. Plant food

 Hard landscaping

  1. Hoses and fittings
Hydrozoning, Water-Wise Gardening, Efficient Irrigation, Plant Grouping, Water Conservation, Strategic Plant Placement, Garden Efficiency, Sustainable Landscaping, Water-Saving Techniques, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Drought-Tolerant Plants, Garden Water Efficiency, Irrigation Optimization, Water Management, Garden Sustainability, Conservation-Focused Gardening, Efficient Watering, Hydrozoning Benefits, Water-Wise Landscapes, Plant Water Needs, Garden Water Allocation, Water-Smart Gardening, Irrigation Efficiency, Plant Watering Zones, Sustainable Water Usage, Garden Plant Grouping, Smart Garden Design, Eco-Conscious Landscaping, Water-Efficient Landscapes, Gardening with Limited Water, Hydrozoning Strategies, Plant Watering Management, Plant Watering Solutions.
Hydrozoning, Water-Wise Gardening, Efficient Irrigation, Plant Grouping, Water Conservation, Strategic Plant Placement, Garden Efficiency, Sustainable Landscaping, Water-Saving Techniques, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Drought-Tolerant Plants, Garden Water Efficiency, Irrigation Optimization, Water Management, Garden Sustainability, Conservation-Focused Gardening, Efficient Watering, Hydrozoning Benefits, Water-Wise Landscapes, Plant Water Needs, Garden Water Allocation, Water-Smart Gardening, Irrigation Efficiency, Plant Watering Zones, Sustainable Water Usage, Garden Plant Grouping, Smart Garden Design, Eco-Conscious Landscaping, Water-Efficient Landscapes, Gardening with Limited Water, Hydrozoning Strategies, Plant Watering Management, Plant Watering Solutions.

A trendy heads-up 

Get your Garden Centres and Home Stores stocked. Here are the gardening trends looking to take root in a fertile bed and container near your consumers! 

Sexy small spaces

This trend is all about unique growing styles combined with sassy plants that may be small in size but large in personality. Our significant townhouse/balcony/patio demographic will be looking for something special that expresses their individuality within a limited space. 

  • Dwarf varieties in mini pots for the patio
  • Stylish kitchen windowsill herb farms
  • Statement-making vertical walls and hydroponics

Stock list: attractive dwarf hybrids, minimalistic rectangular containers for windowsills and all the herbs, leafy greens and cherry tomatoes for hydrophonic growing, hydro set-ups, and vertical wall containers with charismatic indoor and outdoor plant options. 

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Hydrozoning, Water-Wise Gardening, Efficient Irrigation, Plant Grouping, Water Conservation, Strategic Plant Placement, Garden Efficiency, Sustainable Landscaping, Water-Saving Techniques, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Drought-Tolerant Plants, Garden Water Efficiency, Irrigation Optimization, Water Management, Garden Sustainability, Conservation-Focused Gardening, Efficient Watering, Hydrozoning Benefits, Water-Wise Landscapes, Plant Water Needs, Garden Water Allocation, Water-Smart Gardening, Irrigation Efficiency, Plant Watering Zones, Sustainable Water Usage, Garden Plant Grouping, Smart Garden Design, Eco-Conscious Landscaping, Water-Efficient Landscapes, Gardening with Limited Water, Hydrozoning Strategies, Plant Watering Management, Plant Watering Solutions.

El Nino-proof gardens

With the predicted dry and hot summer ahead, indigenous landscaping, rainwater harvesting, and wildlife habitat creation is top priority. Our Earth Custodians will be looking for drought-proof plants, inspiration on how to redesign beds for water conservation, as well as ways to support wildlife. 

  • Indigenous hydrozoning
  • Water collection and storing
  • Pollinators and friendly critters 

Stock list: In-store labels that indicate hydrozone compatibility as well as a large variety of local plants, rainwater tanks and other water harvesting supplies, wildlife houses and plants for pollinators that are grouped together and highlighted in-store. 

Hydrozoning, Water-Wise Gardening, Efficient Irrigation, Plant Grouping, Water Conservation, Strategic Plant Placement, Garden Efficiency, Sustainable Landscaping, Water-Saving Techniques, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Drought-Tolerant Plants, Garden Water Efficiency, Irrigation Optimization, Water Management, Garden Sustainability, Conservation-Focused Gardening, Efficient Watering, Hydrozoning Benefits, Water-Wise Landscapes, Plant Water Needs, Garden Water Allocation, Water-Smart Gardening, Irrigation Efficiency, Plant Watering Zones, Sustainable Water Usage, Garden Plant Grouping, Smart Garden Design, Eco-Conscious Landscaping, Water-Efficient Landscapes, Gardening with Limited Water, Hydrozoning Strategies, Plant Watering Management, Plant Watering Solutions.
Hydrozoning, Water-Wise Gardening, Efficient Irrigation, Plant Grouping, Water Conservation, Strategic Plant Placement, Garden Efficiency, Sustainable Landscaping, Water-Saving Techniques, Eco-Friendly Gardening, Drought-Tolerant Plants, Garden Water Efficiency, Irrigation Optimization, Water Management, Garden Sustainability, Conservation-Focused Gardening, Efficient Watering, Hydrozoning Benefits, Water-Wise Landscapes, Plant Water Needs, Garden Water Allocation, Water-Smart Gardening, Irrigation Efficiency, Plant Watering Zones, Sustainable Water Usage, Garden Plant Grouping, Smart Garden Design, Eco-Conscious Landscaping, Water-Efficient Landscapes, Gardening with Limited Water, Hydrozoning Strategies, Plant Watering Management, Plant Watering Solutions.

Indoor jungles

As temperatures rise, indoor gardening will see an increase in demand for exotic collectables and classic creepers. Consumers will likely be more willing to spend on indoor landscaping owing to water restrictions and heat. 

El Niño ready 1: the new climate cycle

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Scientists are predicting the full impact of El Niño to play out in 2024, with temperatures expected to soar across the globe. Changing climate cycles are as old as the Earth itself and a natural part of what humanity will experience while living on our gorgeous blue planet. As gardeners, these changes are particularly influential as we already have a close relationship to rainfall and the weather in general, as well as the needs of our plants and garden wildlife. A period of noticeable changes is heading our way, imploring us more than ever to practice sustainable watering.

The coming change in weather pattern from La Nina (cool phase) to El Niño (warm phase), will affect the entire continent across multiple sectors – from food production, fuel and food prices, agriculture, plant life, and as we’ve seen – the possibility of day 0 in our own homes.

In this article, we’ll be answering the following questions:

  1. What is El Niño and why the change from La Nina?
  2. What has Africa learned from El Niño in the past?
  3. What can South Africa Expect? 
  4. How will El Niño impact the home gardener?

 

Before we dive in, this article is number 1 of 3 in Life is a Garden’s El Niño Preparedness Series. We recommend that you read them in chronological order for a comprehensive understanding. Together, these 3 articles will leave you well-informed and equipped for gardening in a drought. 

Article 1: El Niño - the new climate cycle (you are here)

Article 2: Gardener or Earth Custodian? 

  • What is the Good Gardener Ethos?
  • What is my conscious gardening advantage? 
  • How can I be a wildlife guardian and habitat creator?
  • How can I look after my family?

 

Article 3: The Water Warrior Way 

  • How can I affordably collect and store rainwater now? 

El Niño ready 2: Gardener or Earth custodian?

As we approach the new El Niño climate cycle, we also enter a deeper understanding of how influential and important the gardener is. Predicted dry times and heat waves ahead will have a significant impact on gardening and likely to our usually cheerful dispositions as hardships from around the country make the news. It can be challenging to remain positive and solution-driven during these times. However, The South African Nursery Association (SANA) and Life is a Garden are working hard to ensure you thrive, not only survive this period.

The first step in preparing for this weather cycle begins with the correct education. Be sure to have read Article 1 to school yourself on the fundamentals of El Niño. In this article, we arrive at the second phase of our El Niño preparedness, which is a change in mindset or ethos upgrade that recognises the evolution of the gardener from an everyday plant grower to a mighty Earth Custodian (if you aren’t one already).

We hope that you are just as inspired as we are to take on this shining title and join Life is a Garden on our mission to play for team plants, people, and planet!

In this article, we’ll be answering the following questions:

  1. What is the Good Gardener ethos?
  2. What is my conscious gardening advantage?
  3. How can I be a wildlife guardian and habitat creator?
  4. How can I look after my family?

*Before we dive in, this article is number 2 of 3 in Life is a Garden’s El Niño Preparedness Series. We recommend that you read them in chronological order for a comprehensive understanding. Together, these 3 articles will leave you well-informed and equipped for resilient gardening.

Article 1: El Niño - the new climate cycle 

  • What is El Niño and why the change from La Nina?

El Niño ready 3: The Water Warrior Way

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We’ve got some time from now (August) until summer when El Niño’s heat and dryness is predicted to reach us in full swing. Estimated to last for 9 to 12 months, it is to prepare a resilient garden and make the necessary changes to our habits and water collection infrastructure.

Having read article 1 and article 2, the topics of Earth Custodian and Water Warrior should be familiar tools to have for gardening in a heatwave. In this 3rd article of Life is Garden’s El Niño Preparedness Series, we will be digging our spades into some practical ways that you can save and efficiently manage your water consumption to keep your garden thriving.

To recap, a Water Warrior is part of the Earth Custodian’s everyday gardening habits - from water-wise practices to wildlife protection and rainwater harvesting. The Earth Custodian is both a mindset and ethos upgrade that recognises the gardener as more than just a plant grower, but an essential service individual who is conscious of the big-picture footprint their water habits have.

To be a Water Warrior means that we have ‘woken up’ to the accountability of our household’s water consumption and how our daily habits impact the country as a whole, as well as surrounding wildlife and the precious balance of Mother Nature. By extension, becoming a Water Warrior also means that we do not transfer all resource and infrastructure responsibility to municipalities and government.

 

In this article, we’ll be answering the following questions:

  • How can I affordably collect and store rainwater now?
  • How can I grow a resilient garden?
  • Is hydrozoning right for me?
  • How should I be watering my containers, beds, and lawn?

 

Before we dive in, this article is number 1 of 3 in Life is a Garden’s El Niño Preparedness Series.