13 Ways to Conserve Water in Your Lawns and Gardens
Water has often been referred to as the lifeblood of your garden and it makes sense you know plants use water to accomplish all of their life’s tasks and water gives a plant turgidity. It’s part of the xylem and phloem. The water and nutrients transport system within their tissues.
So, if this balance of water is ever out of order, you know at minimum the plants will shut down production, and then at the worst end of the scale, the plants will die. So, let us turn up the beat and share some tips for creating the perfect water-friendly garden. Here, are some of the ways to conserve water;
Best Time to Water Your Lawns?
The first thing you need to consider is the best time of day that makes your watering the most efficient. So, for me, the best time of day is in the early morning through to mid-morning. The reason why is that the sun isn’t too intense when you water your garden such as your seeds and seedlings and also your plants that are growing.
It means that the water has more time to infiltrate in towards the roots rather than being evaporated by the sun.
The second best time is kind of late afternoon early evening but this brings a different problem. Because that encourages slugs to come out and gobble up your plants. So, only water plants that slugs aren’t very interested in. And don’t water during the intense midday sun. As it’s going to be a waste of your efforts and not going to be very effective. So, always try and prioritize watering in the early mornings.
The next thing you need to know is where to prioritize your efforts. When it comes to watering you only have five minutes to do a bit of watering in your garden. You want to know that it’s making the best impact. In order of priority, you want to first make sure that your grass seeds have been watered first.
For example, if you’re growing carrots. Make sure that these never dry out. Otherwise, the germination rate isn’t going to be very good. Once you’ve covered the seeds, you then want to cover the seedlings. And you’ve got beetroot seedlings. Then you want to prioritize those because seedlings don’t have very strong root systems. So, they too are vulnerable.
Once the seeds and the seedlings are covered then move on to the main plants. Let’s say you would go for your salad plants first such as your lettuce and spinach. The reason why is that watering them is going to prevent them from bolting or running to seeds.
When they turn bitter and aren’t as productive. Trying to keep the roots cool with water makes a massive difference in preventing them to bolt. After covering the salads, you can then worry about everything else.
Using Organic Matters
One of the best ways to reduce the amount of watering you need to do in your garden is by using a lot of organic matter in your soil. For example, compost organic matter is great because it acts as a sponge to help retain the moisture and also stop it from evaporating.
So, what you can do is after either heavy rainfall or you’ve done a big watering session is to mulch the ground with around an inch layer or two to three centimeters of compost and it’s going to act as insulation to help retain the moisture.
Also as a sponge when it rains again, make your watering more efficient rather than watering from the top. For example, when a lot of waterfalls onto the leaves and especially if it is a quite intense sun it can cause the leaves to burn.
The great thing about watering is you want to water long and slow. And let seep into the grounds. After dry weather you can see, it’s all just disappearing down into the ground.
Form a Basin
For your bigger plant such as squash or globe artichokes, form a basin with the soil around the plant and this basin is going to act as a bowl. So, when it rains or if you do some watering the bowl is going to capture that water and slowly release it down into the roots. And this is such a wonderful thing to have during hot dry summers.
Key Group Plants
Plants with similar water need together make sure to consider just how much water your plants will need before you decide to plant them. Many natives grow and flourish on very little water.
Get Your Mulch
Mulching reduces evaporation, suppresses weed growth, reduces erosion, and insulates the soil temperature. It’s one of the quickest easiest and cheapest ways of saving water in your garden. There are plenty of mulching options available including bark tips, sugar cane, pebbles, gravel rocks, and even dry lawn clippings.
Chat to your local nursery about the best mulch for your garden.
Lawn removal is one of the most effective ways to reduce water consumption. In which we replace traditional grass with drought-tolerant landscaping. Because lawns can account for nearly half of residential water usage the savings from removing them are tremendous.
Some agencies even offer turf removal incentives. Lawns can be converted into water-wise planting beds and hardscape features including outdoor living spaces.
Drought tolerant plants consume less water, require less maintenance, and help filter the air.
These days rainfall is rare and when it does rain we must seize the opportunity to collect the water. Owning and using a rain barrel is a simple way to conserve water, protect the environment and make the most of nature’s gift.
Rainwater is redirected from your home’s gutter into a barrel connected to a spigot. But be chemicals found in rainwater can damage your garden.
Install a drip irrigation system
Drip irrigation systems water along the plant line only leaving the rest of the field dry and using the least amount of water possible because the plant itself shades the watered area. Evaporation is minimal and more water goes to the root. These tips create a mindset that keeps you aware of minimizing your water consumption.
Don’t let it Run
Did you know that a running tap uses approximately five liters of water in a minute? Shut off the water when you water your plants and flower beds. Don’t let it run. As excess water to grass and plants also cause diseases.
Fix the drip
Fix any leaky faucet or pipe also conserve water. Many people do not bother to fix the leak pipe or valve. And it results in a loss of water and money.
While watering from sprinklers and garden hose. Connect a timer that will automatically shut off spraying water to your lawns and gardens. Some of the sprinklers also have an automatic shut-off system that stops spraying water when they reach or complete the watering.
Prune unnecessary bad foliage and branches near your flower and vegetable. So, that the desired plants and flowers will get the required amount of water. Because this will avoid excess transpiration and conserve the plant’s energy.
Also, you should remove weeds across your yard. Because some of the grassy weeds, such as crabgrass consume a lot of water and energy. And halt the growth of your desired plants and flowers.
Watering Saving Tips For Home
Here are some water saving tips for home:
Fix leaks: Leaking taps and pipes waste a lot of water over time. Check all your taps, pipes, and toilets for leaks and get them fixed as soon as possible.
Use a water-efficient showerhead: You can save a lot of water by installing a water-efficient showerhead. They use less water but still provide a good shower experience.
Install a dual-flush toilet: Dual-flush toilets have two buttons or handles, one for flushing liquids and the other for flushing solids. This can save a lot of water compared to traditional single-flush toilets.
Collect rainwater: Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater and use it to water your plants and garden. This can save a lot of water, especially in areas with low rainfall.
Use a broom to clean: Instead of using a hose to clean your driveway or patio, use a broom. This can save a lot of water and is more effective in cleaning.
Only run full loads: Whether it’s your dishwasher or washing machine, only run them when they are full. This can save a lot of water and energy over time.
Water your plants wisely: Water your plants in the morning or evening when the temperature is cooler and there is less evaporation. Use a watering can instead of a hose to reduce water usage.
Mulch your garden: Mulching can help retain moisture in the soil, which means you don’t have to water your plants as often.
By implementing these simple water saving tips at home, you can help conserve water and save money on your water bill.
More than 40% of the world’s population is already affected by water scarcity. It seems baffling for a planet that is over three-fourths covered by water but the irony is that less than 2.5 percent is portable and of that only 1% is groundwater.
As the population increases and the resources deplete. Conservation is our only option and we have to start immediately today.
Nina Bassuk is a highly qualified expert in urban forestry management. She earned her Ph.D. in Horticulture from the University of London, UK, and is currently a professor and program leader at Cornell University. With over 100 papers and co-authorship of the book 'Trees in the Urban Landscape,' Nina's expertise lies in improving plant selections for difficult urban landscapes, soil modification, and transplanting technology.