If there is a drought in your area the first thing the local government advises is to stop watering flower gardens. That might be due to the fact that water usage often doubles in the summer. You can do your part and conserve water with the following tips.
Watch Out for Paved and Impermeable Surfaces
If you have a sprinkler set up, make sure it’s not hitting paved surfaces like the road, your driveway, patio, sidewalk, steps, and so forth. Also, note if the sprinkler hits your roof or any part of your house. Water that hits hard surfaces is wasted.
Go for the Roots
If you water by hand, water at the base of each plant rather than spraying or pouring water all over the garden area and over the aerial parts of plants. This also helps with weed control, by the way – by watering only at the base of the garden plants, you are not wasting water on weeds that might be growing in the garden area between plants. No sense in wasting water on weeds!
If you don’t water by hand, try a soaker hose. These hoses slowly ooze water out of their permeable sides, slowly soaking the soil and minimizing run-off.
You can attach timers to your hose and sprinkler just as you can with lamps. These timers ensure that you don’t leave the hose or sprinkler on, and they also safeguard against watering too long. You can set them to water your garden at the ideal time of day even if you’re not available then (such as early morning or evening).
Collect Rain Water
Take advantage of your gutters and downspouts by hooking up a rain barrel, or attaching a diverter to your downspout. There are other ways to collect rain water, too. You can use this to water your indoor and outdoor plants, and for any other non-drinking applications.
Plant Low-Water Plants
A simple way to save water is to plant flowers and plants that don’t use a lot of water. Drought-tolerant plants like lavender, purple coneflower, hens-and-chicks, and others can make lovely additions to your yard or garden, and they require little in the way of moisture.
Using mulch in the garden helps conserve water by reducing evaporation. Mulch holds moisture close to the soil where it’s needed. There are all kinds of options for types of mulch; even shredded or chopped newspaper works fine. Two to three inches are considered best for water retention.
Dig a sunken garden or rain garden to make the most of the rain water in your area. Some rain gardens don’t need watering at all during the summer if there is normal rainfall. You might consider converting your existing garden into a sunken one.
By starting on the road to conserve water you are helping yourself, your plants, and your local area. Good luck!