7 Tips to Save Water in Your Garden

On March 16, 2014

How to Save Water and Maintain a Beautiful Landscape

We are experiencing unprecedented drought in California, but your garden doesn’t have to suffer. Here are seven ways you can save water – and money – and still have a thriving landscape.

  1. Install Drip Irrigation

Drip Irrigation v. Overhead Spray Irrigation.  Drip irrigation systems (when installed correctly) can save water by releasing the water only at the plant’s root zone at a rate that will not runoff.  Overhead spray irrigation wets an entire area regardless of the root zone coverage and can lead to wasted water.  Overhead spray can also be blown off course by the wind which is not a problem with drip irrigation, and overhead spray cannot be accurately adjusted to follow curved borders without overspray or poor coverage.

  1. Employ Hydro-zoning

This irrigation technique involves grouping plants with similar water requirements on the same valve system so they all get the right amount of irrigation.  It eliminates having to over-water some plants in order to give others enough.

  1. Install Weather Sensors & Smart Controllers

There are different “Smart” Controllers on the market that can be combined with moisture sensors, soil sensors, or linked to weather station data centers to automatically adjust your watering times based on current weather conditions.  Some controllers can be programmed from a ‘smart’ phone.  This is especially useful when a person is at work or away and cannot make the physical adjustments on-site.

  1. Remove Your Lawn

Water hungry lawns can be replaced with synthetic turf, native plants, drought tolerant plants, pathways, seating areas, etc.  This can also reduce the amount of landscape maintenance needed.  Instead of having to mow on a weekly basis, the landscape may only need bi-weekly or monthly service to maintain the plantings.

  1. Add Mulch

Adding a 2”-3” layer of mulch in your planting beds will retain moisture in the soil longer and also help suppress weed growth.  Landscape centers carry many varieties of barks, wood chips, etc. to use in the garden as mulch.

  1. Eliminate Weeds

Weeds will compete with your plants for the moisture in the soil and should be eliminated.  Deadheading flowers will also save your plant’s energy thus requiring less water.

  1. Harvest Rainfall

Collecting rainwater in barrels, cisterns, or other types of containers (either on the surface or underground) can supplement your irrigation system needs.

Using some or all of these tips in your garden landscape this spring and summer will save you water and money during the drought.

 

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