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Conserving Water In Your Garden- Easy Ideas
Water conservation is becoming ever more important in sustaining a healthy planet. Did you know that in the Summer, outdoor water use at homes increases from 10-50 percent? So paying attention to your water usage in the garden is one way to promote an eco-friendly lifestyle and save money at the same time.
Here are some easy ways to cut your water costs in your garden-
Water your garden as infrequently as possible. By using native plants, you can design the sort of garden that can stay green without a lot of water in the first place.
Collect rainwater that runs off your roof in rain barrels. Drainpipes can empty directly into barrels, which should have faucets near the bottom to make it easy to get the water out. Be sure to cover the top of the barrel with a screen or some other covering to prevent debris (such as leaves) and insects (such as breeding mosquitoes) from getting into the water.
Water your garden during the coolest part of the day to reduce evaporation. Stick to watering in the early morning or late evening, and water only the areas and plants that need it.
Mulching plants will help reduce water needs. Flowers, trees, and shrubs should be mulched with pine bark mulch. Vegetables can be mulched with black-and-white newspaper, salt marsh hay, or landscape fabric.
Use a drip irrigation system or soaker hose in gardens that need the most water. These types of irrigation systems can save 30-70 percent of the water that is used by overhead sprinkler systems.
If you water by hand, don’t water foliage, but water at the base of the plants, where the plants will absorb the most water.
For any potted plants, make sure that they have a saucer under their container to catch extra water.
If your yard is big enough, consider installing a cistern, a large water-storage container that can hold rainwater as well as greywater, which is water already used for washing, laundry, or showering. Even if you don’t have a rain barrel or cistern, you can use basins or buckets to carry used dishwater or bathwater outside to water your plants.
Use a trigger nozzle or soaker hose instead of a sprinkler. A sprinkler can use as much water in an hour as a family of four uses in a day! Trigger nozzles or soaker hoses work better for specific areas such as garden beds. If you just can’t give up your sprinkler, remember that it doesn’t take long for a sprinkler to soak your lawn thoroughly. When you set up the sprinkler, set out an upside-down Frisbee, too; when the Frisbee’s filled with water, turn off the sprinkler.
You can reduce water needs for your lawn by raising the lawnmower’s blade level so grass is cut at two to three inches or higher. Longer grass needs less water, since it shades the plants’ roots, which in turn encourage deeper growth.