When it comes to our yards, we put a lot of effort into creating that special entertainment area or cozy retreat with the help of plants, lawns, and shrubs. But one of the requirements of having a lush or green yard is consistent watering. It is estimated that 40% of household water is used outdoors. Saving water is important, not only for the money saving aspect, but for limited water supplies. Especially in areas like Southern California with drought conditions.
To help you cut down on the amount of water used for your yard and keep your wallet more full, we have put together 13 ways to conserve water in your yard.
Eliminate Water Leaks
Outdoor water leaks are guaranteed to run up any water bill and can minimize efficiency of any irrigation system. They often go unnoticed and can waste about 6,300 gallons of water a year for a single 1/32” diameter leak, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Inspect your irrigation system often for any leaks.
Install a Smart Controller
A smart controller is a device you install into your irrigation system that allows you to automatically regulate watering of your landscape. Features include scheduling and remote management. On top of the hands-off watering, a smart sprinkler controller can reduce the amount of water that is used.
Mow Grass High
When you mow your lawn close to the soils surface or low, you hinder the food-making process of the grass and allow more water to evaporate. Since grass uses the blades/leaves to turn sunlight into food, a healthy root system can’t be established. When you mow your grass, make sure to raise the height of your mower so you can keep the grass height around 2 inches.
Install Rain Barrels
Rain barrel systems collect and store rainwater from your roof that would otherwise runoff into storm drains.The collected rainwater can be saved and used to water your yard. Not only will you be saving water, but you will be decreasing the impact of runoff to streams.
Mulch Your Yard
Mulch is a material that you apply to the surface of the soil in your garden that consists of decaying leaves, bark, or compost. By adding mulch to your yard, the amount of water lost from watering plants is reduced. The mulch reduces the evaporation of water from the soil surface, keeping your flowers, shrubs, garden, and plants moist.
Plant Drought Tolerant Plants
For plants that don’t require much watering, consider planting drought tolerant plants. Drought tolerant plants derive from desert like climates such as California, where water comes in only in the winter. Since they do receive rain at some point, these plants do need some light watering, but not as much compared to other plants.
Water the Roots of Plants
During hot summer months, water is easily evaporated and makes it a little more difficult for plants to survive. To ensure that plants get the water they need and reduce the amount of water that evaporates, water the roots of the plants. If you water the leaves instead of the roots, some of the water may be transported to the roots, but most of the water will just sit on the leaves.
Water in the Morning
Choosing to water the yard in the morning will help avoid water loss from evaporation and drifting spray from winds. Also, when you water in the morning, the moisture can help any stress from heat during the day.
Another way to save water in your yard is to recycle water in your household. With ideas like saving water from a shower with a bucket, cooking pasta, or washing veggies, you may have a sufficient amount of water for your outdoor plants.
Group Plants Based on Water Needs
If you have a variety of different plants in your yard ranging from drought tolerant plants to moisture loving plants, you should consider grouping them based on water needs. By having them separate, you can focus your watering efforts and save more water.
Install a Water Timer
Using a water timer for watering your yard can reduce the amount of water used. By using a timer, you can set it and forget it, knowing that your sprinkler system will shut off at your specified time.
Weeds are plants in our yard that are unwanted and can oftentimes be an eyesore. Not only that, but they compete with our lawns and other plants for resources, like water. To save water and to keep your yard healthy, check your yard for any weeds occasionally and remove them as soon as possible.
Replace Your Lawn
Our lawns take up alot of water, and can cost up to $360 a year in areas like San Diego, for a 1,000 square foot lawn. This equates to almost 50,000 gallons of water a year. With this in mind, you should consider artificial grass for your landscape. For a hardscape option, interlocking pavers are a great choice for their durability and aesthetics.
As you can see, there are a number of ways for you to conserve water in your yard. By working these simple steps into your yard care habits, you will be helping the environment and your water bill at the same time. What do you do to save water in your yard?