Water Wise Gardening Tips
Wise Gardening Tips
by Carol Yaw
smarter. Save water and save money on your water bill!
- During dry spells, a heavier soaking 2-3 times a week is more
effective than a light daily watering.
- Hand watering allows you to inspect each plant and quickly spot any
- Inspect all hoses for
leaks and make sure all connections fit tightly.
- Improve your soil with
lots of organic matter.
This slows down the transpiration of water giving plants longer to take
in what they need. Before you plant, mix in extra compost, shredded
leaves, compost manure, or peat moss.
- Install a drip irrigation
system. Drip irrigation minimizes evaporation loss and easily saves
up to 60% of the water used by a sprinkler system. Plan for different
beds to be on separate water
timing schedules depending on their particular water needs. A soaker
hose also applies water slowly and evenly to the root zone, minimizing
- Mulch well. Mulch
reduces evaporation, helping to retain water and can greatly reduce
weeds. For best results, cover your beds with 4-6 inches of organic
matter such as compost, bark, shredded leaves or newspaper, grass clippings
or straw. Add one more inch of mulch each year.
- Water early in the morning
or late in the evening. This maximizes water penetration and minimizes
- Water beds and lawn infrequently,
but slowly and deeply. This encourages roots to grow deeper and
is more effective than frequent, shallow watering.
- Control Weeds. Weeds
compete with other plants for water. Conserve on water by weeding diligently.
- Design for your plants
watering needs. Choose plants that are native to your area and drought
tolerant. Group plants together with similar watering needs.
- Reduce the size of your
lawn. Turf grass is extremely water and labor intensive.
Mow high and often, leaving the clippings. Consider letting your lawn
go brown during the warmest season, but still water at least once a
- Prune. Pruning strengthens
plants and makes them less water-dependent.
- Harvest as soon as veggies
and fruits are ripe. Discard spent or diseased plants ASAP.
- Collect Free water.
Use a water barrel to capture and store chemical free water for gardening.