There are many benefits to making your garden more conservative in its water consumption. Not only will you do some good for the environment and could contribute to staving off a water shortage, but you can also give your garden a unique appeal, all while saving as much as $30-$70 on your water bills. So here’s how you can make your garden landscaping better at conserving water.
Water the Garden at the Right Time
Not many people are aware of this, but we tend to over-water our gardens. This doesn’t only make you waste water; it also requires you to do more work in the garden. To check if your yard needs to be watered or not, drive a shovel into the soil. If it turns up damp, there’s no need to water the garden; if it’s dry, then that’s the time you should water it again.
But if the soil in your garden is partly composed of clay, the earth might seem damp even if it’s adequately irrigated or seem dry despite having water in it. To be sure, observe your plants for signs of water stress; this is when the leaves change their position or get darker. Water the plants and grass when these signs show. In terms of the time of day, it’s best to water your plants in the evening, as there are less heat and evaporation.
Use the Right Amount of Water
How much water to use depends on the type of soil in your garden. Light, sandy soils require more watering compared to heavier types of soils. Soft soils that have high clay content can be watered less frequently as they’re more absorbent, but they need more water. For plants to keep growing and keep your garden a pleasant shade of green, it’s ideal to use 5.2 gallons of water for every 10 square feet of your garden. Watering your garden with this amount every 7-10 days should be enough.
You can make your garden collect rainwater and make it more efficient in water usage. There are several ways to do this. You can have unique tiles for garden paths installed that are porous; these allow rainwater to seep into the ground instead of flowing into storm drains or pipes. Ground-based water catchment can be built in your garden to use as a water source, and you can also collect rainwater runoff by connecting your roof gutter’s downspout to large rainwater-collecting barrels.
Another easy way to make your plants collect water and nutrients is by placing mulch around your trees and plants; the surrounding mulch can act like a sponge that retains water longer and keeps the soil moist. Just be sure to apply the mulch around the trees or plants, making sure it doesn’t pile up higher than a couple of inches and doesn’t make contact with the plant or tree’s trunk.
Use Drought-tolerant Plants
When the words “drought-tolerant” are mentioned, images of desert cacti usually pop into our heads. While this is inevitably true, cacti or other desert plants aren’t the only types that can withstand long dry spells. Other drought-tolerant plants can be beautiful and will fit and thrive in almost any kind of garden. Try Echinacea flowers, Lavender plants, ornamental native grasses, swamp grass, and some drought-resistant trees. This practice is also called xeriscaping and can reduce water usage by 60% or more.
Making your garden use less water offers several benefits. A water-less garden can save you $30-$70 a month on household water bills, apart from reducing your water usage and living sustainably.