Conserving water in the garden is just as important as in the home. Here are some of the water saving tips for gardening.
Water at the right time
Water Pots in the afternoon and Garden in the morning. This way you will minimize the amount of water that is evaporated during the day.
Use the right amount of water
Many of us over-water our gardens. This is not only wasteful; it means we are doing more work than we need to. To check if soil needs water, put an inch of your finger into the soil and observe the soil. If it is damp, it is fine. If it’s dry, plants need watering.
Place native plants
Native plants grow naturally in your climate. They adjust to the area’s normal rainfall, soil, and climate easily and know how to take care of themselves, and therefore need low maintenance and less watering.
Replace with low water demanding plants
Replace your lawn and high maintenance plants with low demanding, drought tolerant plants and grass. Species with low water needs will also save you time and money in the garden. These include: established or slow growing plants, small plants, varieties with small or narrow leaves, grey or silver foliage or leathery, hairy, curled or fuzzy leaves that typically require less moisture.
Conserve water by adding a couple layers of mulch to your garden after deep watering the areas in the spring. Mulch decreases evaporation because it lowers the temperature of the soil below it. It also cuts down on water-stealing weeds.
Natural mulches include compost, bark chips, and pine needles. Save money by spreading your grass clippings and ground-up leaves on flower and vegetable gardens. These organic mulches gradually break down and add nutrients to the soil.
Inorganic material, such as landscaping paper, rocks, and pebbles, are a more permanent option, although they can heat up too much in some climates.
Planting groundcovers and shade trees help to keep your yard cool by reducing soil and air temperature.
Composting helps your garden by improving the quality of soil. They hold moisture in your soil and help retain nutrients where they are needed.
Hydro-zoning means grouping the plants according to their maintenance needs and planting them together. This way you can care for them efficiently and not waste water on plants that do not need it. For example, you can group shrubs that are low water-use together and those that are high water-use together.
Place the thirstiest plants near the house where they can drink roof runoff. Farther out, make a transition zone for plants that need supplemental drip irrigation. Farther still can be a natural zone for native plants that can survive on rainfall alone.
Opt for a Xeriscape Garden that is specifically designed for minimal watering in gardens. A Xeriscape garden takes the native garden to the extreme. It avoids wasting water by creating gardens with a rational water use and minimizes water loss through evaporation and run-off. This style of garden features native plants and shrubs, cacti, succulents, ornamental grasses, and drought-tolerant turf grasses.
Install a water tank rather than wasting rainwater, to maximize roof runoff and to redirect it for use on your garden. Slim-line tank and water harvesting systems are available for even the tiniest of spaces.
Use watering methods such as drip irrigation or soaker hoses to reduce evaporation by directing water to plant roots. This ultimately saves water from landing on foliage just to be evaporated. Avoid using a sprinkler as it is wasteful.
Reuse fish tank water
When you clean your fish tank, use the ‘old’ nitrogen and phosphorous-rich water on your plants.
Save your Cooking Water
If you steam or boil vegetables, save the water rather than tipping it down the sink! It is full of nutrients and when cooled, makes a free fertilizer for watering your plants.