Monday, May 21, 2012

Tips for Conserving Water in the Garden {Guest Post}

Using less water in your garden can save you money and is good for the earth!

There are easy ways to use less water in your home garden each season.

Read on for tips for how to conserve water in the garden!

 Water conservation is something to consider throughout the entire year. Not only is it a beneficial way to lower water bills but can also help reservoirs stay at capacity should there be a drought. Overall, it helps the environment we live in by ensuring there’s enough of the wet stuff to go around.

At the same time, with the warmer season here conserving gets a little trickier because between now and autumn many of us can be found standing in the yard with hose in hand feeding our gardens and lawns gallons upon gallons of water. The reason is we fear the sun’s impact from morning till evening will cause vegetables and flowers to shrivel up and die in the heat of the day.

However, it’s important to realize most plants have strong tolerances towards sun and unless specifically noted don’t need as much water as we think.

That’s why whenever possible instilling some basic water conservation tips into our watering routine can bring about a change in our overall water usage. Doing some of these can also help plants better sustain themselves during long summer days.

How to water
When we go out to water the garden we often do just that; water the entire garden from head to toe wetting everything in sight. From a practical perspective this means watering things that don’t need it such as leaves, weeds, open spaces, etc. By doing so we’re provoking competition between plants we hope to nurture and ones we care less about.

While there is a practice called foliar feeding whereby plants receive nutrition through the leaves feeding roots is ideal because that’s where the majority of a plant’s nutrition comes from.

Although containing watering at the base of plants can get a little tedious, especially if we’re running off to work and have little time, taking a few extra minutes to try and aim for the roots is one of the best ways to conserve water in the garden.

When to water
The worst time to water the garden and yard is during midday when temperatures are the hottest. The best time to water, however, is in the early morning. That’s when the sun has not yet risen high and its heat won’t cause water to evaporate quickly. It gives water a chance to seep into the ground and dampen roots strengthening them for the journey from sunrise till sunset.

Although morning watering is preferable feeding in the evening is another option. Just be careful as moisture lingering into the night may attract certain types of fungi and pests like snails which will eat your vegetation. 

Reusing water
Water for the garden doesn’t have to always come from the tap, as there are numerous other places around the house where it can be harnessed for the garden instead of being spilled down the drain.

Some include water from boiled vegetables, a glass of tea, or shower water caught in a bucket while waiting for the stream to warm up.

By focusing on reusing water from these and other places you’ll be surprised at how much is wasted around the home on a daily basis and may even start considering other ways to make a difference.

Finally, a great way to keep soil moist for hours after watering is by mulching around plants. Doing so blocks intense heat from the sun that would otherwise speed the drying process. It means that while plants are catching strong rays mulch in the form of dry brush, bark, or wood chips is giving ample security to the root system below.

At the end of the day mulching allows you to use very little water and make every last drop count.

Jakob Barry is a home improvement journalist for He writes on environmental topics for pros across the U.S. like Jersey City, NJ, plumbers.
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