Tips You Can Use To Save Water When Watering a Garden
When it’s been dry garden enthusiasts know they need to water gardens, beds, and lawns. You want to still save water, for the environment and your water bill. Try these ideas to water wisely and keep your plants happy and healthy. It’s possible to reduce outside water usage by 20-50% with a few simple ideas. To keep your water usage low and plants looking nice, try these steps to preserve water.
Water Plants Deeply in the Morning
The best time to give your garden or plants lots of water is early in the morning. Using a sprinkler is fine, but a soaker hose is more effective. A soaker hose puts water directly into the roots and plants soak up about 90% of the water. By watering deeply in the early morning, very little evaporation is taking place compared to water on the surface and/or watering during the hottest part of the day. The more water evaporates the hotter it is. Watering in the evening beats some of the evaporation, but it can also lead to fungus growth.
Spreading mulch helps in a number of ways. It prevents weeds from growing and absorbing water away from the plants you want. A layer of mulch will end up saving money. Organic mulch is best. Grass clippings with no weedkillers, evergreen needles, shredded bark, or fall leaves will add nutrients to the soil with time.
When you water, water begins to evaporate from the surface. By putting mulch down, you help preserve water by limiting the amount lost to evaporation. Additionally, mulching keeps dirt wet longer while maintaining the dirt temperature level cooler in the summer or warmer in the winter.
When we get rain, it may be worth it to harvest the rainfall and direct it toward your garden rather than just letting it be a runoff. You can be extra frugal (smart) and collect free water. Place rain barrels, cisterns, or a tank at your downspouts. A 1,000-square-foot roof covering collects about 625 gallons of water from just 1 inch of rainfall. You can likewise save and maximize the use of rain by building rain gardens.
Plant Plants with the Same Water Needs Together
You probably already know a lot about what plants need sun or shade, what plants need certain spacing, and more. Knowing what plants need similar amounts or schedules for water is another good step. Then plant similar plants together when possible. This lets you water the same sections efficiently. You don’t want to have some drought-resistant plants, which can be great, but then water them anyway while watering other plants.
Arrange plants in zones based on water usage. Think of how plant beds can be used. Keep low-water usage plants like hedges and drought-tolerant perennials in separate areas. Install an irrigation system control that supports zone watering. This can also give you water bill savings.
An additional tip for dry weather or climates: Put high-water usage plants close to the house where you’ll be more likely to water them easily and quickly. Plant drought-tolerant plants on the outer areas of a yard and landscape.
Use More Native Plants
It’s possible to have a garden filled with plants that have little to no extra water. Use plants that naturally grow in the Charlotte and Carolinas area. Some plants get all the water they need from rainfall. Once you’ve gotten them established, they need much less attention. If you want perennials good for hot, sometimes dry, conditions, your best bet is indigenous plants that are native to this climate and soil type.
Indigenous plants thrive on natural rain levels. During dry spells, they may require some additional water, but not as much as plants not native to the regional climate and conditions. An additional perk is native plants are usually more pest-immune, need little to no plant food, and are lower maintenance than those that aren’t native. If you choose to plant some non-natives in your landscape, make sure that they are well-adapted to your environment without needing excessive amounts of water.
Reduce the Competition
It pays to keep up with all the gardening chores. It may seem like work, but healthy plants in the end mean less work. Chores like weeding, pruning, and thinning are needed. One benefit is you can use less water because only the plants you want are getting the water.
Let the Lawn Grow
Longer grass, up to about three inches, is a healthier lawn. If you let the grass grow a little higher than normal, it provides its own shade on the roots. This saves water by slowing evaporation and letting more water soak in. Longer, stronger grass also means fewer weeds grow in your yard.
Have Less Grass
At the same time letting your lawn grow stronger, you might think about having a smaller lawn. Garden beds or many other landscaping ideas use less water, give more shade, have more uses, and look more creative than a large lawn.
Help Your Dirt
You can improve the soil for healthier plants and less watering. Consider using mulch, compost, leaves, straw, and other organic matter. The right mix will let the soil hold more water. A good suggestion for many areas or regions is to add an inch of compost or matter a year to keep the soil healthy and with make-up to absorb more water.
Pick Dry Climate Plants
You can plant low water using species. Many drought-tolerant plants are beautiful and easy to care for, along with needing little water. Some dry-climate plants have silver, spiny, or thick foliage. You can find plants native to the desert or the U.S. northern plains. Go to a garden center and scout or ask around. You’ll probably have fun exploring new ideas for your garden.
South End Plumbing specializes in leak repairs and water heater installation, so remember, we are just a click away. We also specialize in tankless water heaters – give us a call! South End Plumbing is one of the only companies that will give you a free estimate. Call us at 704-919-1722 or fill out the form online to schedule a visit.