Turn your lawn into a water wise landscape with these tips
It’s widely known that each American uses 100 gallons of water each day on average. It’s also pretty known that of those gallons, approximately 30 percent goes to outdoor use (with a higher percentage on dry regions and hotter seasons). That’s basically all you need to know to understand why you need a water wiser landscape – to cut your water use.
Now, many people believe that that insanely high amount of water is a must to have a beautiful green lush lawn - but that’s simply not true. A well-planned landscape can save a lot of water while also causing your neighbors’ envy. You just have to follow these easy tips.
Enrich your soil and mulch it up
Having a healthy soil isn’t just mandatory for growing all kinds of plants, shrubs and flowers – it’s also essential to save water. How’s that? Because sails combining clay, sand and silt have increased water retention when compared with sandy soils. Besides, such combination guarantees enough oxygen for your plants’ roots.
Have a clay or sandy soil? Compost it and you’ll see how you have to water it less often. Once you’ve done that, mulch around your plants to increase your soil’s water retention. Additionally, doing that will reduce the amounts of weeds that take up the moisture and nutrients out of your plants.
Pick the right plants
Turfgrass and ornamentals require a lot of water. And I know, we all love it, but there are measures to be taken to reduce our water use. First of all, try to limit the size of your lawn and let it go brown, especially during times of light rainfall. Additionally, use mulch discretionally to preserve moisture. Finally, pick the ideal plants for your area.
Local plants require less water once they are established and look as good as any other alternative. Besides, you’ll have to take a look at the water requirements of the plants you intend to use in your landscape. That’s especially true for perennials, since they’ll need water all year long and will end up limiting your savings if you choose a thirsty one.
Learn how to water
At this point, you probably know all about rain barrels, drip irrigation systems and grey water use. But there are other things you can do to be near water efficiency perfection. First of all, learn all there is about your plants. Knowing when you have to water them will reduce overwatering and will balance your conservation efforts.
You can also make a weekly schedule according to which you water less often but ensuring each plant has enough water in their root zones. That way, you’ll only water once or twice a week, limiting the amount of water you can waste every time. Additionally, keep in mind the time of day in which you water – if you do so in the middle of the day, the sun will evaporate it more quickly and you’ll have to water some more afterwards. Better yet – install a drip irrigation system and you’ll be all set.
Being water efficient with your landscape is key to reduce your water use - but you don’t have to end there. Your home can also be more energy efficient, so once you are done outside, remember to bring those efforts in for maximum savings and a more pronounced change for better.