Any eco-friendly gardener knows that conserving water is vital no matter where you live - but it’s even more important in drought-prone areas. Whether you need to limit your water use by law, want to save a little bit of money on your water bill, or want to do your part to help your local environment, here are some simple ways to do a lot more with less in your own backyard.
Target your watering
Instead of spraying your entire yard every day, do some deep, targeted watering. The leaves and flowers of your plants don’t need to be watered - the roots are what is important. So when you’re spraying your plants, target the roots of the plants to prevent wasting water.
Plant fewer water-hungry plants
Some plants need a lot of water to survive, and others don’t. You should try to plant more of the less-thirsty varieties in your yard. This practice, known as xeriscaping, is perfect for arid conditions or for anyone looking to conserve water. Redfin.com notes that some wonderful plants for a xeriscaped yard include succulents, purple needle grass, blue oat grass, flax, blue primrose, and fescue. Doing this won’t just save water, but it will help you save money over time.
Mulching not only improves your soil quality, helps prevent weeds, and can be a boost to your plant nutrition, but it also helps you conserve water during the hot summer months. Mulch provides a barrier between the sun and your top layer of soil. When sunlight hits your soil, water evaporates. When the water evaporates, moisture is wicked from your soil. You will have to water your landscaping less if it is mulched, bottom line.
Install a rain barrel (or two)
One great way to recycle water that comes pouring off your roof is to install a rain barrel. These devices attach to your guttering and collect rainwater, which can then be harvested for use watering your plants. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. More on that here.
Recycle household water
Think about all of the water you waste around your house. You can catch it and reuse it for your landscaping. Try placing buckets in your sink or bathtub to fill water while you wait for it to warm up. Reuse the water you use to boil pasta or rinse off vegetables. Anytime clean or nutrient-rich water is going down the drain, you’re missing an opportunity to conserve.
Time your watering
If you water your plants during the peak (hot) hours of the day, you will lose more to evaporation. You should water your plants during the early morning hours or after the sun goes down to reduce this waste. If you have the means, you can install timed sprinklers that will only kick on at certain times of the day.
Don’t be lazy when it comes to weeding
Not only will weeding your yard make it more attractive, but it will help conserve water as well. Every time you water a yard filled with weeds, you’re watering the weeds. When you have a lot of weeds present, your plants are competing for water. This mean you have to use more water to give them what they need.
Conserving water isn’t hard to do. With a little know-how and minimal effort, you can save gallons of water every week. If you don’t do it for Mother Nature, do it for your wallet. Having a beautifully-landscaped home is wonderful, but it’s all for naught if you’re wasting our most precious resource in the process.
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