Save Water and Cash

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Succulents Save Water and Cash

I started seriously with succulents in the December 2006. From then to now I have gradually removed my annual water guzzlers from the garden, replacing them with succulents and also removed my now (not permitted by the SA Govt.) comprehensive automatic watering systems and water with a hand held hose.

Now 18 months later I was dreading my first annual excess water bill as due to establishing  over 2000+ pots and having to hand water nearly every day, (sometimes twice a day in summer), especially for the small pots containing new cuttings, I thought that this initial start-up year would be a disaster.

Surprise... my annual excess water bill arrived and was only $250 against my previous  normal of $600+ each year. Of course this means that next year it should be even less as  most of my "Mother" plants are now established and need less time and less water.

2,000 pots ?? ...nobody wants to have to water 2,000 pots... this is certainly not a time saver.  Well my intention when I started to grow in pots was so that I could make the small cuttings large enough to transplant into a permanent garden position as they grew to maturity. Well as my garden grew I got more and more cuttings until I decided to start an eBay business and sell my excess cuttings.

Surprise number 2... My established shrubs and roses which managed to avoid my killing  frenzy also survived on the miserable amount of water that I carefully doled out. Of course  many of them will have to go as the succulents grow and eventually cover at least 90% of my  garden. I have completely eliminated the usual front and back lawns and replaced them with  rock gardens divided by pathways... overall the effect should be very pleasant when everything grows to maturity.

What to do with the $350 saving each year ? Well I'd like to search out and buy some of the  scarce variety of succulents but I think my wife (Dot) has other plans.

The moral of the story here is don't let your wife see the excess water bill !!

BONUS… When I look at my garden now I see a kaleidoscope of colours both from flowers and leaf sizes, colours and unusual shapes changing over the seasons. Succulents are great for mass displays of eye catching colour and design and are very easy to plant and manage.

THE REAL ADVANTAGE… You only have to buy a plant once… From then on you simply take cuttings or offsets from that plant and you have a garden that lasts forever.

Happy Gardening,

Bruce and Dot Aiken
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