Garden and Landscaping Water Saving Tips

Water in the cool parts of the day (early morning is best) to cut down on evaporation.

Add compost to your soil to improve its water holding capacity. (Mulch, which can be made from readily available wood chips or leaf mold, act as a blanket to keep in moisture and help prevent erosion, soil compression, and weeds.)

Check for and repair leaky hose connections and sprinkler valves. Small leaks can be very wasteful.

Ask your nursery person about low water using turf and raise your lawnmower cutting height. Longer grass blades help shade each other and cut down on evaporation.

Preserve existing trees. Established plants are often adapted to low water conditions.

Water trees and shrubs, which have deep root systems, longer and less frequently than shallow-rooted plants which require smaller amounts of water, more often.

Porous paving materials such as brick, decomposed granite, or gravel used in patios and walkways help keep water in the garden rather than in the gutter.

Timing devices allow efficient watering on a schedule suited to each area of the landscape - installing a rain sensor will prevent watering when it's not necessary.

Using a drip irrigation system applies water slowly, reducing run-off and promoting deep rooting.

Always remember the one inch rule: Don't over water! Established lawns and shrubs and most vegetables and flowers need just one inch of water a week. If there has been an inch of rainfall during the week, you don't need to water at all.

How can you tell if your yard has received an inch of water? Collect rainfall or sprinkler water in a container such as a coffee can, then measure with a ruler. Inexpensive guages are available at most garden centers.

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