If you have a garden, flowerbeds, landscaping or a greenhouse — or if you’re considering starting one or all of those projects — keep in mind that there are easy water saving tips for helping you conserve liquid sunshine.
Pay attention to the sun
This is something you should do before placing a garden or flowerbed, or before you install a greenhouse. Make sure you know how much sun your plants are going to get by paying attention to the light and shade patterns in the area where you intend to plant them. Use dry soil plants in areas with bountiful sun and plants that need a lot of water in shaded areas.
Stick with native plants
Native plants have evolved to suit their environment and generally require less watering than non-native species. Your local nursery or botanical garden can help you find plants native to your area.
Plant crops in wide beds
Bunching your plants closely together in beds that won’t be trod upon is a great way to keep plants healthy and growing well. It also helps conserve water because it’s used only where it directly affects the plants you’re growing. You can also plant crops in blocks rather than rows.
Mulch does a great job of keeping moisture where it belongs instead of evaporating. Mulch also prevents soil-borne disease from splashing up onto your plants. Use organic mulch so when it rots it will fill the
soil with nutrients.
Break up crusted mulch
Mulch does a great job of keeping the base of plants cool and keeping the ground around plants moist. But thick layers of mulch can form a crust that blocks water from reaching the soil. Use a rake to break up the crust and your plants will thrive while you save water.
Regularly test your garden’s moisture
Home improvement stores, horticulture supply stores and garden centers sell tools uniquely suited for gauging your garden’s moisture. If you don’t have one of those tools, use a long straight-blade screwdriver to break up the soil as a moisture test. Dry soil is harder to break up than soil with proper moisture.
Water your plants in the morning
Cooler temperatures lead to less evaporation, which is why watering in the morning is the best way to go. You can water in the evening or at night, but you increase the chances of fungus forming in your garden because fungus thrives in damp, dark places.
Keep you garden and plant beds weed free
This one’s a no-brainer. Not only do weeds sap away much-needed nutrients from your plants, they also suck up water intended for your crops. You’ll maximize the effectiveness of watering by keeping weeds away from your plants.
Ditch the traditional garden hose and nozzle
They’re OK for an emergency watering, but they’re no good for long-term use because they waste water through mist, leaks, runoff and evaporation. Use a soaker hose or sprinkler wand instead.
Think beyond the spigot
Tap water isn’t the only liquid suitable for keeping your gardens and flowerbeds lush. You can gather and save rainwater. You can also re-use water you used to steam or boil vegetables. It’s filled with nutrients plants love. Aquarium water also works well.