By Linda Ly
Saving water in the garden doesn’t necessarily have to involve swapping your lawn for succulents, setting up a graywater irrigation system or running around the yard and reusing your kitchen sink run-off. Particularly in drought-prone regions, we’ve all heard the mantra to be “water wise,” but the best steps to get there are the smaller, simpler ones that yield immediate water savings.
Here are four low-maintenance methods to help reduce the amount of water you use outdoors, all without a hefty initial investment in time or equipment.
Check your spigots and hose connections for leaks and damage.
Periodically check your irrigation equipment such as spigots, connectors, hoses and nozzles for leaks, which can contribute to hundreds of gallons of water wasted every month. Keep an eye out for damage caused by animals that like to dig, pets that think your new garden hose is a chew toy and older equipment that may need to be replaced because of normal wear and tear. If your hose has a hole or crack that leaks water, try using a hose mender to fix it quickly.
For large areas that require overhead watering, reduce evaporation and wind drift by using a wind-resistant sprinkler.
Lawns and landscaping can benefit from Gilmour’s Adjustable Length Wind-resistant Rectangular Sprinkler, an adjustable low-profile sprinkler. Its design resists wind drift and reduces water loss from evaporation, which in turn increases efficiency and helps conserve water in the garden. To prevent your sprinkler from watering sidewalks, pathways or other unwanted areas, use the rotation dial control to adjust the spray pattern and direct the water exactly where you need it.
For garden beds and plants grown close together, use a soaker hose to supply uniform moisture right at the roots.
Soaker hoses have an advantage over sprinklers by providing a consistent amount of water along its entire length, taking the guesswork out of how much water you should give each plant. Watering right at the roots also helps reduce plant diseases, since it prevents fungi and bacteria in the soil from splashing onto the leaves.
For maximum moisture retention, lay the soaker hose on the soil and bury it under a layer of mulch. Be sure to keep the soaker hose and mulch a few inches away from the stems of your plants to prevent rotting.
Grow plants with similar water needs together.
By grouping plants with similar water needs together, you can avoid the overwatering issues that often contribute to water waste. Here are a few examples:
With smarter watering, you can maintain a lush garden while still conserving precious resources.
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