Tips For Saving Water In The Yard & Garden

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(Photo credit: Linda Tanner)

(Photo credit: Linda Tanner)

by Jakob Barry

Spring and summer are the seasons when home water usage rises due to homeowners using more of it in the yard and garden. Nevertheless, an eye should always be turned towards water conservation because of the following:

  • Freshwater resources aren’t as abundant as we think and generally don’t get replenished as fast as they’re tapped.
  • Droughts have been experienced by large portions of the country in recent years making water reserves all the more precious.
  • Conservation keeps water bills low.

That said consider some of the following ideas for more efficient water usage around the property in the coming months.

Low maintenance perennials

Some species of plants and vegetation need a lot of water to survive while others are low maintenance. A typical example is lawns and how some varieties can’t survive the sun’s rays without daily watering. A solution is to replace high maintenance grass with a species that needs less attention.

The same could be said for other high maintenance vegetation. They could be switched out for drought tolerant perennials, specifically those which grow regionally and do well within the local climate.

Drip irrigation

Whether decisions are made to change the landscaping or not a drip irrigation system can go a long way towards conserving water. Drip irrigation is based on the fact that most types of plant life only need small amounts of water to survive.

The basic system consists of perforated plastic tubing connected to a hose with the perforated parts placed in close proximity to the base of plants near roots. When turned on the system delivers water under low pressure to those areas with the water seeping out through the holes.

Years ago drip irrigation was mainly used in arid regions like Austin, Texas but landscapers from Newark to Atlantic City are familiar with the method.

NOTE: If you plan on setting up a drip irrigation system yourself be aware there are easy to assemble to more intricate versions so research which works best for you.

Hose vs watering can

Garden hoses are extremely useful for transporting water from one area of the yard to another without much effort, however, they aren’t efficient when it comes to watering. That’s because even on the lowest setting hoses usually have a strong stream which isn’t always easy to control.

That being the case, the best thing to do is use the hose as a means of bringing water a distance but spray into a watering can and feed from there. That way water can be directed towards roots more easily and less will be wasted.

Furthermore, early morning is usually the best time for feeding because the sun’s rays aren’t as strong and won’t dry moisture as quickly. Once the sun is high in the sky it may heat topsoil but the earth below will remain moist longer.

Mulch

Finally, something that goes hand in hand with watering is mulching. Mulch can be made from any number of organic substances such as bark, branches, leaves, and seaweed to name a few.

The ground around plants is covered with one or more of these blocking direct sun from contact with the soil. This allows the ground around roots to stay moist even longer keeping plants healthier and with less need of water again that day.

Jakob Barry is a green living journalist for Networx.com. Networx.com helps homeowners save time, money and frustration by connecting them with home improvement professionals. From roofers to carpentors to plumbing contractors, Networx simplifies the process of locating a reliable professional.


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