Summer is swiftly approaching. This means that flowers are blossoming (and unfortunately weeds) and that color has been restored to your lawns and gardens. With hotter months around the corner, the unfortunate drought plaguing many states, and outdoor water use increasing in the summer, conservation of the precious natural resource is vital to all communities. Not only can saving water outdoors help you preserve a scarce natural resource, but also can help you save money and lower garden maintenance. These tips will help you save water, time, and funds!
- Know your soil type. Determine the soil texture and understand the appropriate ways to care for it. Sandy soil provides good ventilation but drains water quickly. Clay soil retains more water, but often results in poor drainage and insufficient oxygen. Loam soils are a mixture of the two and provide the best balance.
- Remove weeds before planting. They compete with desired plants for soil, water, and sunlight.
- Appropriate plant placement is key. Group plants with similar needs together. Place plants with lower irrigation needs farther way from the house since water is not as easily obtainable.
- Insulate your plants with a layer of mulch surrounding them. This helps preserve the moisture and discourages weed growth.
- Choose native plants. Once these plants are established, they take very little maintenance and adjust easily to the climate of the land.
- Adding organic materials to soil and mulch can help increase absorption and water retention.
- Set up irrigation systems so they are only watering necessary areas – not the sidewalk, driveway, etc.
- Water your lawn only when it needs it. Most lawns only need about an inch of water per week.
- Adjust your irrigation schedule according to the month and seasonal changes.
- Water early in the morning, when it is cooler outside, to prevent evaporation. It is the best defense against slugs and other garden irritants as well.
- Avoid watering when its windy – wind blows sprinklers off target and speeds up the evaporation process.
- Water your plants deeply and less frequently. This encourages deeper root growth and helps plants build a better tolerance to variations in soil moisture.
- Keep weeds in check. They are notorious for stealing nutrients from desired plants, so make sure to remove them when they pop up!
- Recycle rainwater with rain buckets or barrels. By placing rain barrels underneath drains, gutters, etc. you can collect the excess rainwater so it is not wasted. Use this recycled water for watering trees and plants, or even washing your car.
- Check to make sure there are no leaks in your sprinkler system or hoses, and repair or replace if so.
- Be sure not to water faster than the soil can absorb it. Avoid contributing any puddles or run-off.
- Consider a drip irrigation system if your plants require higher quantities of water. These are basically water systems that deliver small quantities of water at low pressure to direct areas. They can preserve from 30% to 70% of water used by sprinkler systems.
- Keep grass slightly longer in warmer weather to prevent quick evaporation and reduce the growth rate.
Water is a fundamental natural resource and we all want to preserve it as much as possible. Luckily, you can maintain the beauty and health of your lawn and garden while also reducing water by following these tips. To learn more about how you can preserve water this summer, and to get a free analysis and estimate of your lawn, contact Complete Lawn Care today.