Outdoor Water Conservation Tips
You don't need to be a garden guru to have a water efficient garden. Keep these five basic waterwise tips in mind and you'll have a blue thumb in no time.
- Know when to water. Water early in the morning (before 10a.m.) or later in the evening (after 6 p.m.) when temperatures are cooler and evaporation is minimized.
- Know how much to water. The amount of water needed each week changes with the weather. Sign up to receive the Weekly Watering Number for information on how much to water every week between April and September. Different plants have different water needs, as well. Learn about plants that require less water and start incorporating them into your landscape.
- Water thoroughly, and less frequently to develop a more robust root system. Plants that have larger root systems are more effective at accessing water and need to be watered less frequently. Many established landscapes and lawns need to be watered one or two times per week. Newer plantings, vegetables, and potted plants may need more frequent watering. Creating a watering schedule will help ensure that your plants get the right amount of water each week.
- Prevent runoff by applying only the amount of water your soil can absorb. Much of the soil in our area is clay which means it holds onto moisture, but takes longer to absorb. If puddling occurs when you water, try breaking one long watering session into several shorter ones. For example, instead of watering for 20 consecutive minutes, run sprinklers in four 5-minute sessions. This will allow water to soak into the soil and minimizes runoff.
- Add compost or mulch to your soil to help it absorb and store water. Organic mulches (e.g. aged manure, bark chips, wood chips) cover and cool the soil, minimizing evaporation, soil erosion, and weed growth. Composted food scraps and plant debris from your garden (e.g. grass clippings, fall leaves) provide nutrients for your plants and increase the water-holding capabilities of your soil. Both are important for the health and well-being of your plants and can also reduce your water usage.
With these easy steps, you will feel like a water-saving whiz in no time. Want more? Use these Ten Tips to water your landscape efficiently this summer.
Interesting in saving water indoors too?