Conserve Water in Your Garden

Paul Simon, landscape horticulturist and landscape architect with the National Gardening Association is back with another video to help you make the most of your garden, and in this one he’s ready to teach you how to conserve water in your garden.

It’s life or death

Water is a precious and valuable resource. Wars have been fought over it, and may be fought again. Those of us who live in water-rich countries often take it for granted. But even in places where it’s plentiful, there can be droughts; the summer of 2016, for example, saw extensive droughts throughout the United States, and with the changes coming our way with global warming, there’s reason for concern that there will be enough water in the future. In fact, there are a number of rather dire predictions coming out of the World Economic Forum with regards to the current and future availability of water to the planet’s population. So it’s got to be an area of concern for everyone.

Watering the garden

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a garden, however! Vegetable gardens sustain us, flower gardens keep the ecosystem in balance, and lawns are simply beautiful. It’s a matter of not using a finite resource excessively. So what does water conservation mean for gardeners who want to keep their lawns green and their plants happy?

Let’s talk lawns

Many people just automatically turn their water sprinklers on. That’s it. They don’t think about it; it’s automatic. But maybe it’s time to start thinking about it! Everything you do has consequences, and even if you weren’t conservation-minded, the truth is that over-watering your lawn can be just as bad for it as under-watering it. Your sprinkler doesn’t need to be turned on every day, and your local community may in fact have regulations about which days you may turn it on. Your lawn will be just fine! It only really needs about an inch of water a week, which isn’t very much. Certainly you’re probably giving it more than that now.

How can you tell if your lawn needs to be watered? Easy: just step on it. That’s right. If the blades spring back, then your lawn is fine.

When and what to water

How many times have you seen sprinklers, especially on commercial properties, that weren’t aimed properly? If you’re like most people, you see it all the time. Haven’t you had to move across a sidewalk to avoid getting sprayed by someone’s sprinkler? The answer is to aim it properly. Neither the sidewalk nor your driveway need watering. Keep it on your lawn and garden instead, and move it about as needed.

When is the best time to water? It’s probably earlier than you think: actually between four and six o’clock in the morning is best. You want to do it before the sun comes up (or, if you absolutely cannot do it then, then wait until the sun goes down). If you water while the sun is on the plants, then you can easily burn their leaves or even the blades of grass. Evening is better, but morning is best, so that you can get your moisture in before the sun starts evaporating the water.