Water Conservation in the Yard
by Silvianne Barthe
It is that time of year again. The water companies are
sending us notices to reduce watering in our gardens.
What are you doing to help conserve this precious commodity?
Often we don't appreciate something until it's gone! That
can really be true with water. Taken for granted when
it is plentiful, its importance is truly appreciated in
the garden once it becomes scarce. If you find yourself
in a drought, there are some things you can do to help
conserve water and make the best use of what you have
If you have not already mulched your plants, do it! Mulch
will help limit the amount of water that evaporates from
the soil. While organic mulches such as grass clippings
or wood chips are preferable since they add organic matter
to the soil, plastic mulches are useful in limiting evaporation
from the soil. They can be laid between rows in the vegetable
garden and will help
limit moisture loss; however, they also will limit infiltration.
Place your water where it will do the most good. Sprinklers
are very inefficient for getting water to the roots of
your plants. Much of the water lands on the leaves and
evaporates before reaching the ground. A slow gentle watering
at the base of the plants, allowing the water to soak
into the soil, will be most efficient.
Water those plants needing it most. Newly planted trees,
shrubs, and flowers with limited roots systems will most
likely suffer first from drought conditions. Give these
plants priority if water is scarce. Well-established plants,
especially those native to the area, are likely to withstand
drought conditions with limited damage.
Water in the early morning before the heat of the day.
This limits evaporation and supplies plants with needed
moisture to make it through the hot, sunny day.
Consider using drip or trickle irrigation systems. Many
inexpensive, easy to install systems are available that
provide small amounts of water to the base of individual
plants. These systems place the water where it is needed
most, rather than applying it across the whole garden.
Check with your local garden center.
Collect water from downspouts when it rains. Roofs intercept
significant amounts of rain. Collecting this runoff into
a barrel can help limit the use of city or well water
during dry spells.
Are you looking to imporve your backyard landscaping?
Look no further we have plenty of suggestions on our website.
About the Author
Silvianne is an enthusiastic gardener. One of her major
concers, because she lives in the high desert, is water
conservation. Visit her website at:
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