Here are five relatively simply ways to save water, an essential commodity of life. While the information is gardening common sense, it’s been complied by a terrific garden resource, Sunset. Their newsletter is well worth a subscription.
Select Drought Tolerant Plants
Succulents create a marvelous bed. Planted together, these drought-tolerant plants with their outrageous shapes, striking colors and flamboyant flowers will make a striking front yard or flower bed and will require a fraction of the water a lawn or normal bedding plants require. See my blog on Succulents.
Irrigate deeply and infrequently, then allow the soil to dry out a bit between waterings. Water early in the morning, when the air is calm and temperatures are cool. If you have sloping ground or clay soil, water more often but for less time to minimize runoff.
Get Rid Of Your Putting Green
Here in the West, lawns are the number-one consumer of residential water outdoors. Reducing their size, restricting them to spaces where you actually need them (like kids’ play areas), or eliminating them altogether are the most effective ways to reduce your own outdoor water use.
Mulching Saves Water
Organic mulches (ground bark, wood chips, compost) save water by cooling the soil, reducing evaporation, and encouraging healthy roots. They also help eliminate water-hungry weeds. Mulches break down quickly, so you’ll need to reapply them quite often; 2 to 3 inches is usually enough.
Check Your Sprinklers
You can often tell if your system is not working efficiently by watching it run. Or look for signs: Brown spots mean your lawn isn’t getting enough water; wet spots and runoff signal too much water. Make use of your water department’s local lawn-watering guidelines.