Outlined below are a few tips and tricks on how to save water in the garden, hence lower water bills at the end of the month, and a healthier/fruitful garden.
- Know when and how to water the garden: Knowing the best (recommended) times to water your garden can help reduce the amounts of water you use per cycle. For instance, watering early in the morning reduces the rate at which water evaporates. Watering during the dew cycle also allows the plants to dry off before the sunsets, which again reduces the risk of infections and particularly, fungal diseases. According to this guide from Outdoor Fountain Pros, it would be advisable to adopt drip irrigation instead of overhead sprinklers. Drip irrigation saves lots of water, keeps the foliage dry, and does attract common garden diseases. You also need to water deeply to ensure water reaches the root system, as well as check your sprinkler system regularly – ensure it doesn’t miss irrigation targets.
- Learn to save water: Consider collecting rainwater and storing it in a water tank. A 1,000 sq. Ft. roof can fill a 65-gallon water tank with just 1/10 inches of rainfall. With most plants only needing a fraction of such per week, collecting and storing water can save you lots of money in water bills. The Fiskars Salsa Rain Barrel System is an excellent example of a barrel system you can use to collect rainwater for use in the garden.
- Use sprinkler timers conservatively: Automatic sprinklers can be particularly wasteful during the rainy season. Since these sprinkles are already timed, they will start watering your garden or lawn even when there’s rain. It would therefore be advisable to pay attention to these sprinklers and their timers during rainy times, and only use them in dry weather.
- Plant drought-tolerant plant: Planting drought-tolerant plants in your garden will not only save you lots of water and time but also help keep your garden looking green and beautiful throughout the dry season. Good examples of plants that thrive well in dry soil include sage, rosemary, thyme, lavender, yarrow, and butterfly bush. Some native plants are drought-tolerant too, hence should be considered to help attract pollinators into the ecosystem.
- Group plants in the garden: Learn to group plants according to the sun, soil, and watering needs. Also known as hydrozoning, this practice eliminates wasting water on plants that don’t need lots of water. For the best results, consider placing thirsty plants close to the irrigation system and xeric ones at the farthest corner of the same.
- Build healthy, fertile soil: Learn to amend your gardens soil structure by adding organic matter (aged manure and compost) to help increase its capacity to absorb and hold water. This is particularly required with clay soil (allow water to penetrate with ease) and sandy soil (increase water retention). The advantage of building a healthy and fertile soil structure is the fact that, your plants will grow fast and healthy, and have fewer pathogen problems.
- Mulch: Mulching is one of the best water conservation tactics in the garden. It not only helps save water, but also helps reduce weeds, regulate soil temperature, and even prevent fungal diseases from spreading on plants. You however should apply mulch a few inches from the plant stems; otherwise, the roots may start rotting.