Lawns and gardens are lovely to look at and very healthy for humans as well. But, they require a lot of care. One of which is regular watering.
Depending on the size of your lawn or garden and the climate in where you live, you could be using as much as 100 gallons of water per square feet of lawn of garden. On a hot, summer day that goes up by another 25%.
To help you conserve water usage, here are some simple ways to save water in the garden or lawn. It not only helps the environment but also lets you reduce your water bill as well.
How to Save Water in Your Lawn and Garden
1. Collect and Reuse Rain Water
Rain provides us with a natural water source. Unfortunately, we often take it for granted.
One way to save water and money is to collect rain using buckets. This is so simple because all you need to do is place a few 5 gallon buckets at the corner of your lawn or garden. Actually, anywhere will do as long as it’s not a covered area.
These buckets will collect rain which you can reuse to water your plants. In doing so, you’ll be able to save money on your water bill along the way.
2. Water Your Lawn During the Morning
Morning is the best time to water your lawn and garden. The only exception to this is potted plants which you should save for the afternoons.
Watering in the mornings, between the times of 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. are ideal because they’re the coolest times of the day. This reduces the amount of evaporation that happens allowing your plants to absorb more of the moisture.
Similarly, early mornings experience less winds which can reduce the amount of water available to your plants as well.
3. Then, Water the Pots in the Afternoon
For plants in pots, research shows that watering in the afternoon is optimal. Watering potted plants way after 12:00 noon produced the best results in terms of growth and plant health.
4. Install an Adjustable Sprinkler
Manual sprinkler systems work fine. But, they don’t allow you control how much water you use or save. With adjustable sprinkler systems, you’re able to control how and where the device waters your lawn or garden.
This lets you arrange you garden into zones based on water needs. From there, you can set the sprinkler to give each zone the appropriate amount of water it needs.
5. Put in a Water Timer
Programmable water timers not only save you time and effort, they also cut on water usages. These devices let you program how long your sprinkler system or hose will water the plants. In doing so, it helps prevent overwatering.
When choosing water timers, pick one that’s has a connection to the weather and is able to monitor soil moisture. This allows it to save even more water by limiting the amount used during wet seasons or when the soil still has enough water.
6. Set Up Drip Irrigation
Drip irrigation drastically reduces the amount of water you use in your garden because it delivers moisture right to the roots of the plants.
Unlike hosing or using a sprinkler system, where you water the soil, it doesn’t experience any runoff or evaporation. This makes water delivery more efficient.
7. Use Mulch
Instead of bagging raked leaves and throwing them in the dump, mulch them instead. This helps reduce the amount of solid waste in our landfills. And, it also lets you use mulch for your garden.
Mulch is very useful because it decomposes to help make your garden healthy. It also acts as a protective layer above your lawn and plants. This helps keep them from extreme weather conditions and intense sunlight.
In doing so, they don’t lose as much moisture.
8. Check the Washers in Your Hose Regularly
Hose washers that are cracked or deteriorated produces leaks in your hose. While it may seem harmless since the dripping water goes into the lawn anyway, it makes you overlap certain areas you water.
This wastes water.
By checking the washers regularly to make sure they’re in good condition helps prevents leakages and drips. The bigger the drip is, the more water it wasted.
9. Install a Rain Gauge
Earlier, we mentioned collecting and recycling rain water. Here’s another way you can take advantage of the rain.
Installing a fairly low-tech rain gauge is a great way to monitor how much water the skies have produced recently. The gauge can quickly tell you if your lawn or garden has received enough water in recent days.
If it has, then there’s no need to water them again. Doing so not only spends precious water and your money but also drenches the soil with too much water which can increase the risk of fungal disease.
10. Check the Weather Before You Water Your Lawn or Garden
While the rain gauge gives you an idea of how much water your plants received in the past few days, the weather forecast can tell you what will happen in the coming days.
Keeping a close eye on the weather lets you avoid watering your garden when there’s a storm or rain coming in a few hours or the next day.
You can do this manually using free weather apps on your phone which will save you time in having to set up the hose and water the lawn.
You can also use smart irrigation systems that are connected to weather station forecasts. This lets them control how much watering is needed based on the rain or sunshine that’s happening the coming days.
11. Don’t Throw Away Water Used in Cooking
We use a lot of water in the kitchen. Whenever you need to boil water, be it for pasta or something else, you often end up throwing the excess water away after.
Instead of doing this, why not save the water and use it for your garden. This lets you save on water use.
But, before using the water on your lawn or plants, make sure to let it cool down first. Boiling water or one that’s too hot isn’t something your garden will like you for.
12. Save and Reuse Household Water
Besides excess water in the kitchen, there are other sources of household water that you can reuse for your garden. This can be condensation from the dehumidifier or cold water from the shower as you wait for the heater to get it hot.
Collecting the water from these sources lets you recycle them for your lawn.
13. Mow Your Lawn to Save Water
Instinctively, mowing the lawn short may seem like the better option when it comes to saving water. After all, shorter grass means less need for water, right?
Unfortunately, it isn’t the top of the grass that absorbs the moisture. It’s the roots beneath the soil that do that.
And because of this, mowing your grass high actually reduces the need to water as much.
Grass needs a lot of water to thrive. But, longer grass encourages deeper roots. This also reduces the amount of water they need.
14. Choose Plants That Don’t Need a Lot of Water
Like people, plants vary a lot when it comes to their essentials. Some plants need more than 6 hours of sunlight every day. Others require less than 3 hours of light to grow.
The same is true for water. Some plants are better suited for warm conditions. There are also those that can withstand drought conditions. This allows them to survive even when they receive very little water.
So, when choosing plants for your garden, pick those that need low amounts of water. It saves you the effort of watering often. And, you save money and water as well.