As summer heats up and water supplies are reduced, saving water is more important than ever when watering your lawn or garden. Wasting water can be costly. Lawn and garden watering can add up to nearly half of a household’s monthly bill. Plus, if drought conditions lead to water restrictions in your area, your home’s landscaping and curb appeal will suffer the consequences.
Water use can be reduced by making some minor changes in your routine. Following are tips to create your own beautiful, water saving backyard lawn and garden haven.
- Get WaterSense into your system: Lawns and gardens will be the first to go when local drought water restrictions kick in, so install an irrigation system that makes the most of less water. A WaterSense-certified irrigation professional can help you to design one that keeps things green while reducing water use by 15 percent or about 9,000 gallons annually. Timers and moisture sensors are part of the scheme, helping to regulate and adjust watering routines as climatic conditions change.
- Know when to water: It’s best to water your lawn and garden in the morning, when direct sunlight and warm temperatures aren’t around to evaporate the moisture meant for your plants. Windy conditions can also waste your watering efforts.
- Stay on top of faucet, sprinkler and hose maintenance: Even the best irrigation aids can sometimes send water wandering, so check faucets, hoses and sprinklers regularly and tend to adjustments and repairs. Watering your sidewalk will only grow your water bill.
- Reduce water frequency with tall lawns: Longer grass cuts down on water evaporation and keeps turf hydrated, so keep your mower’s blade high (three to four inches from the ground). Aerating your lawn will also help with hydration, especially in areas with clay or other heavy soil types.
- Keep soil moist: Add mulch to bed surfaces to help plants’ roots more efficiently drink in the water you provide. Mulch will help hold in the moisture and regulate soil temperature.
- Design a xeriscape: Xeriscape is a landscaping approach that can reduce water consumption and save you money for many years to come by designing a landscape increased water savings and more natural beauty. For example, decreasing turf area in favor of indigenous plantings and low-water ornamental grasses can both reduce watering and maintenance needs. Grouping plants according to their water needs, selecting from the cool array of colorful, low-water plants at your local nursery, and designing creative, naturalistic planting schemes that attract birds and butterflies to the scene, can all deliver big water saving for your lawn and garden.