Water Features Can Help Your Garden During Drought Conditions
Australia is prone to prolonged periods without significant rainfall, leading to drought conditions. This doesn't mean you can't have a beautiful garden in your backyard; and in fact, having a water feature can help your flowers or vegetables grow during drought conditions, simply by adding moisture into the air surrounding your garden.
Water Features Recycle Water
Your first concern during a drought is that your water feature is using too much water leading to loss of the overall supply. This is a valid worry; however, water features, such as fountains and ponds, recycle water from an attached reservoir. You must keep the reservoir filled to capacity to protect the mechanism and to make sure the aerator keeps the water fresh and able to provide your plants with much needed moisture.
If you are concerned; know this, water features, like from The Gardeners Nursery, only evaporate approximately three centimetres a day in warmer months, so the loss of water does not affect water supply significantly. If you have a pond, this will actually help to irrigate your garden and help keep their roots moist during periods of low rainfall.
A Water Feature Adds Humidity to Your Garden
While the summer months might feel stagnant and too humid to you, plants needs this airborne moisture to survive the heat and produce oxygen during the photosynthesis process. If the air becomes too dry, a plant can't inhale the carbon dioxide it needs. This is due to the lack of humidity preventing the plant from being able to absorb this important element which will make the plant rapidly lose moisture. This will eventually lead to the plant shutting down and if not given enough water to fulfill its needs, the plant will die.
Having a water feature situated within your garden will add humidity into the air, which effectively helps your plants to breathe. It is important to know that during a drought, the dry air will pull moisture from the plant's leaves faster than the roots can supply it. If there hasn't been any rain in weeks or months, there is no ground water to replenish the plant's roots; so even though the plant will continue it's job of creating oxygen, it isn't getting any moisture to replace what has been lost. It doesn't help to water the plant more often; over-watering will only lead to root rot.
Obey Your Water Laws
If your town or city does have a water restriction law, then make sure you turn your water feature off or down on the days that watering your lawn is prohibited. Your plants will be fine and it will also give you time to clean and maintain your water feature. During the downtime, check your pH levels (especially if you have fish in a pond.)
One final tip to help your garden through a drought, is group your plants close together, and as close to your water feature as possible. If you have a pond, your garden will also benefit from ground water that does seep into the soil underground, and the evaporation process will keep the garden plants hydrated as well. The plants gather moisture from each others' leaves during the photosynthesis process.