Inhale the earthy smell of your garden. Between the vegetables, flowers, and fresh water, it is nearly impossible to resist. Gardening is incredibly relaxing and a great way to provide food for yourself. Whether it is a hobby or a part of your sustainable living lifestyle, gardening is a great use of your outdoor space.
If you know it or not, you are helping conserve the planet and creating a piece of paradise for yourself by planting a garden. There is one thing that people often overlook though, water. Water usage can go through the roof if you have a garden, especially if you are in a particularly dry or hot climate.
So, how do you save water while still keeping your plants happy and healthy? Here are 8 ways to save water in your garden. You will be surprised how easy and inexpensive this particularly savvy habit can be.
1. Sow crops that need less water
We all love to plant lots of different varieties of things, but did you know that some plants consume more water than others? I’m not telling you to plant a cactus by any means, but it is worth looking into to save water and still maintain a luscious garden.
What plants, minus cacti, don’t need much water? There are a few and they are still delicious and healthy for you! Amarat, cow beans, corn, mustard greens, purlane, spinach, tomatoes, and swiss chard are among the best drought tolerant vegetables. If you are looking for drought tolerant flowers there are some great choices too. They include: lavender, palms, mimosa, and verbena.
2. Collect rainwater
This method for saving water is huge! First of all, it is about the cheapest method for saving water. Second of all, it is really really easy. You can simply set out buckets, or you can get even more fancy.
There are rain barrels that connect into your gutter system in your house. This is an excellent way to accrue as much water as possible during any rainy day. It stays sealed too so that all of your water doesn’t evaporate. A lot of them have an access port for your hose too. It doesn’t get much easier than this!
3. Mulch, mulch, mulch
It’s not secret that the more organic matter in your garden the better. Worms, compost, and mulch all contribute to keeping your soil healthy and moist. You can help keep your soil moist fairly easily by applying mulch to your garden. This traps the water in so that it doesn’t evaporate as quickly.
You will be surprised on how big of a difference mulch can make. You can get anything from beautifully designed wood chips from your local garden center to just using plain old raked up leaves from the fall. Whatever option you choose, your water bill will thank you.
4. Use an automated irrigation system
An automated irrigation system is a god send for saving money and time. If you are short on either of those, this is the perfect solution for you. You can set up your sprinkler system to go off at the right time of day, for a set amount of time, and adjust as needed.
Your garden will be well watered and your water bill will be low. Automating your irrigation system allows you to control how much water is being used. This is key to saving water!
To see our selection of Wifi Sprinkler Controllers, click here.
5. Clay pot gardening
Clay pot gardening is an excellent way to garden. It is a little more work upfront but once it is set up you are good to go. Simply get your garden bed ready as usual. Then before you plant each plant, place a clay pot in the hole beforehand.
This allows your water to stay with the plants instead of watering the whole garden bed. Some of that soil doesn’t need water! It helps decrease the amount of water you need but still keeps your plants well hydrated.
6. Drip irrigation
Drip irrigation is another way to save water and time at the same time. Drip irrigation is really fast to set up, decreases amount of water used, and saves you time walking back and forth all over your garden.
You just roll out the irrigation strips next to your plants and set up your gridwork throughout your garden. Connect to your water supply. Turn on the hose and watch the magic unfold. You can have a glass of wine while your garden is being watered instead of breaking your back and a sweat.
7. Water at the right time of day
If you water at the wrong time of day, your plants are going to soak up a ton of water that they wouldn’t need otherwise. Watering in the early morning or late evening is the best time for your plants to absorb the water. They also will stay strong all day.
If you water your plants in the middle of the day with the sun beating down, chances are they are either already wilty or ridiculously thirsty. This is the opposite of what you and your plants want. Stick to the prescribed schedule and save some water.
8. Don’t overwater
Most people think that they are under watering their plants. This is false! It is a fairly common misperception. Check the soil around your plant. If it is dry and light in color, your plant needs water. However, if it is damp, leave it alone!
Plants need less water than you think. Pay attention to what your plants look like as well. Are they standing up nice and tall? Do their leaves look green and glossy? Then they are just fine! If your plants are looking a little wilty or sad, then give them a drink. Pay attention to your soil and plant clues and water accordingly.
Saving water in your garden isn’t as complicated as you thought, is it? There are some great tips here that will help keep your plants alive and kicking while maintaining a low water bill. It’s best to set up these practices right away in the spring, but they can be done any time of year.
Keep these tips in mind before you plant your garden or while you are planning your garden for this year. Saving water is easy and fairly inexpensive if you follow this superb advice.