Easy Ways to Save Water in Your Yard and Garden PART 2
- Choose drought-tolerant plants. Careful plant selection can make a huge difference in your water use. Many plants, such as white fir, yarrow, yucca, and sage are naturally adapted to thrive in low water conditions. Check with your local landscape professional for advice as to which species will do well in your area and on your specific property.
- A thick layer of mulch helps keep the root zone cool and moisture in the soil. Organic mulches such as wood chips and shredded bark will also contribute organic matter to the soil over time. Some mulches are more appropriate than others for certain applications, so choose carefully.
- Water the soil, not the leaves. Water at the root zone to keep evaporation to a minimum. Keeping water off your plants’ leaves will also help control fungus diseases and prevent sunscald. A professionally-designed irrigation system – drip or otherwise – is far better at proper water delivery than the simple lawn sprinklers you can buy in the hardware store. It is an investment that will pay for itself over time in reduced water bills and healthier plants.
- Mow high. Keeping your grass at the upper recommended limit (about 2 inches for most species) will help shade the soil and prevent excessive evaporation.
- Don’t overwater. It sounds simplistic, but more water is wasted through overwatering than for any other reason. Watering too much doesn’t just waste a precious resource. It is also very bad for your plants. Too much water in the soil stresses your plants’ root systems and contributes to root rot and fungal and bacterial disease. Consult your landscape professional for help in designing a watering system and/or schedule to deliver the correct amount of water for your landscape.
These are just a FEW suggestions you can implement to keep your outdoor water use to a minimum while enjoying a beautifully healthy lawn and landscape. Try a few this year, and see how much water you can save!