Home gardeners are one of the highest users of nutrients of any land use in the Geographe catchment, applying similar amounts of nutrients on an area basis as dairies and market gardeners. The largest prediction of increased nutrients in the future comes from new urban development, and in particular from new home gardens.
Community education and behaviour change programs, like GeoCatch’s Bay OK Gardens project and the South West Catchment Council’s Home River Ocean have been implemented over recent years to reduce fertiliser use in home gardens and public open space.
GeoCatch’s Bay OK Gardens project aims to reduce nutrients leaving urban areas by encouraging gardeners to adopt low nutrient gardening practices. A ‘Bay OK Garden’ uses sustainable gardening principles to create a beautiful, healthy garden that minimises nutrient runoff, conserves water and supports local biodiversity.
Since 2010 GeoCatch have been working with gardeners to reduce nutrients by hosting low nutrient and waterwise gardening workshops, establishing demonstration gardens and developing resources to help gardeners create a Bay OK garden. These initiatives are continuing under Revitalising Geographe Waterways with a focus on working with developers and “new” gardeners to reduce nutrients from new urban areas.