This article is written by Clara Beaufort, gardenergigs.com. She shares excellent landscaping tips for homeowners.
According to the EPA, half the water that Americans use for landscaping is wasted. That’s roughly 4.5 billion gallons per day, an enormous amount considering how precious this resource is in some parts of the world, including our own country. And don’t forget about that utility bill. Can you afford to let a constant stream of money evaporate into thin air? So, here are some tips to cut water use in your backyard while keeping it lush and green.
As you know, some of the plants in your yard drink more than others. Thankfully, you can switch to varieties that soak up much less without sacrificing any of the vibrant colors that you’ve come to love in your garden. Curious? Feast your eyes on these exotic beauties selected by the experts at Birds and Blooms and imagine them growing in your piece of paradise. Remember to wear the right gloves when planting fully grown ones, as some of them can be prickly.
A Smaller Lawn
For most Americans, it’s hard to imagine a beautiful house that’s not surrounded by a rich, emerald lawn. However, that grass takes up an enormous amount of water to keep it from turning brown, roughly 44 gallons a year per square foot, according to National Geographic. Many homeowners, particularly in drought-ridden California, have responded by replacing their turf with native plants that can tolerate dry conditions.
Correct watering means choosing the right time of day to give your plants a drink. Morning and evening work best, as that will keep you from losing valuable moisture to evaporation under the hot afternoon sun. Before you even bust out the hose, dig your hand a few inches into the soil, which may already be suitably wet at root level even though it’s dry on the surface. And don’t spray haphazardly all over the leaves and stems, as this only promotes rot and fungus.
Using mulch will ensure that the moisture stays in the ground where it belongs. Organic materials such as straw, bark, and shredded hardwood work the best because they add much-needed nutrients to the soil while keeping it from drying out. Remember to weed your garden before you add the mulch, working a small layer into the soil before adding another two to four inches on top for sufficient protection.
Every year, countless gallons of water fall onto your roof in the form of rain, then the water flows into the gutters, down the drain, and far away from your garden. There’s no reason you can’t trap this water with the use of a few plastic barrels, downspouts, and spigots, as well as filters to keep out any bugs or debris, according to the folks at Gardening Know How. A one-inch rainfall over a 90-square-foot roof will net you about 55 gallons.
Drip irrigation is a low pressure system in which water flows through pipes or tubes followed by individual nozzles that are placed at the base of plants to deliver water slowly and gently directly to their root systems. It’s highly efficient, using up to 50 percent less water than sprinklers, and has the added benefit of cutting your monthly utility bills. What’s more, your mulch will stay in place rather than being washed away with a strong spray from the hose.
These preservation methods will help keep the water where it belongs: down in the soil near the root systems so the plants never go thirsty. That means you’ll enjoy a healthier landscape than ever before, so get outside and enjoy your garden!
Image via Unsplash.
Blog Credit: Clara Beaufort, gardenergigs.com