Watering With Wisdom
Even aside from the large trees the couple planted, the garden looks far more established than its mere two years. The secret, Wimpie says, lies in a drip-irrigation system that delivers water to the roots of each plant; nothing is blown away by the wind and evaporation is kept to a minimum.
The trees are watered three times a week, with the larger specimens receiving 180 litres each per day and the smaller ones being given 90 litres. At first, Wimpie thought this would be far too much, but the trees are flourishing and now he even ups the irrigation during the hot summer months, so a borehole was essential.
The garden is fertilised via the irrigation system, primarily with 3:1:5 for the beds, 7:1:3 for the lawns and 4:1:1 for the root systems. In August, all the fallen leaves and branches are put through the shredder and worked back into the soil. Bounceback or fine kraal manure is sprinkled over the entire garden at the same time.
Wimpie recently added a Puricare oxygen system to the irrigation system and saw a marked improvement in the plants within months. The oxygen prevents outlets from becoming blocked, so more water gets to the plants and trees and, as a bonus, it destroys the roundworms. The system for the entire garden cost about R28 000.
As this is a low-maintenance garden, there’s no spraying. A systemic insecticide, Koinor, is applied every two months via the irrigation system and this controls aphids, mole crickets and ants.
Mowing And Pruning
During summer, the lawns are cut twice a week with a tractor mower – Marlene and Wimpie do it themselves but also rely on fulltime gardener, Booitjie Williams, to keep things under control when they’re abroad.
Words and image: Home magazine