Having a lush and green yard requires a fair amount of water. However, people are becoming more aware of the fact that we need to conserve water as much as possible. This is especially true in areas that are becoming dryer and experiencing drought conditions. The growing population around the world is also putting more pressure on homeowners and businesses to conserve water and include drought-tolerant plants in their landscape.
How to Conserve Water in Your Yard
It Starts Within the Home
Before looking at ways you can conserve water in your yard, you need to understand that you should conserve water in your home as well. If you are conserving water in the yard and doing the opposite in your home, it defeats the idea. Save water in your home by taking quicker showers, making sure taps are turned off, and not wasting any water. This will help give you a better understanding of how much water you actually need.
Choosing the Correct Plants
The types of plants and trees you have in your yard will determine how often you need to water. The best way to conserve water in your yard is by choosing native plants that do not require a lot of water to grow and sustain themselves. Start by introducing succulents into the yard. Succulents do not require a lot of water and are still just as visually appealing as other types of plants. You don’t have to sacrifice the aesthetic of your yard to conserve water.
Improve the Quality of Your Soil
Soil enables plant growth because it is where all the nutrients, as well as water, are stored. If the soil is dry and hard, it becomes difficult to keep the plants happy as there are fewer nutrients. The soil will also require more frequent waterings because it dries up easily. Using mulch is a highly effective method of keeping the soil nutrient-rich. Mulch also helps to keep the soil moist for longer periods of time, which limits the need for more frequent watering.
Introducing Pot Plants
Sometimes plants are unable to absorb what water is stored in the soil as their roots are shorter. This means you will need to water them more frequently. When you use pots for the plants, you are giving them their own space for water and nutrients. Plants in pots are able to hold water for longer, making it easier for the plants to survive without watering them frequently.
Rainwater Catchment Systems
A great way to save water, and also money is by introducing a water catchment system. Rainwater is free and when using it to water your plants, you can use a little bit more than the normal piped water. However, bear in mind that catchment systems are more effective in rainy seasons and the water will be used up quicker in dryer seasons. Rainwater is generally a lot better for plants as well due to the fact it has come from nature, unlike water that goes through chemical processes to clean it.
Don’t Cut the Grass too Short
When it comes to mowing your lawn, it is recommended that you do not cut the grass too short. Longer grass helps create shade for the soil, preventing it from drying quickly. The grass in your yard is one of the areas that will require the most amount of water more frequently. Therefore, allowing the grass to protect the soil from the dry sun will help conserve water in your lawn.
Lastly, you should be aware of how much water your plants actually need. Overwatering is the biggest cause of water waste, as a high percentage of that water will dissipate in the heat of the sun. If you are using a sprinkler system, set how much time each area will be watered. This will ensure that you are wasting minimal water while also giving your lawn and landscape the water it needs.
Additional Information: Upper Missouri River basin forecast runoff remains well below normal; water conservation measures continue – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division
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