How to Save Water and Still Enjoy Your Yard

Photo from Pixabay

While 71 percent of the Earth is covered in water, 97 percent of the water on the planet is salt water, which means it’s not suitable for drinking. Of the remaining 3 percent, 2 percent is unavailable in the polar ice caps, which leaves one percent for drinking. With populations on the rise, it’s more important than ever that we conserve water. One of the best ways to conserve is to limit the amount of water we use on our lawns, so here are a few tips to do just that.

Take Advantage of Rain

Some of the easiest tips are the most obvious. Start by not over-watering your yard. Not only does this waste water, it’s bad for your lawn. If you have an irrigation system, install an automatic rain shut-off device on your controller that automatically turns the system off when a certain amount of rain has fallen. Make sure you don’t have leaks in your system either — even the tiniest of leaks can waste thousands of gallons each year. You should also install a rain barrel, which provides your plants with chemical-free water. They’re inexpensive to install, and some cities even offer incentives to homeowners who put them in.

Landscape for Beauty and Low Water

As you plan or update your landscape, keep a few principles in mind to conserve water. Analyze your yard for sun exposure, water drainage patterns, and how you will use it. Group plants together that have similar water and sun requirements. Use good soil that will drain quickly and store water, and limit grassy areas — use them for visual appeal more than for ground coverage. Choose your plants carefully; drought-resistant are best, but make sure they work for your yard and look good together. Use mulch around your plants rather than bare soil, and use soaker hoses and drip irrigation if possible, as they deliver water directly to plants without wasting it on areas that don’t need it. A good watering strategy is to only water in the morning about three days a week, but water three times about 20 to 30 minutes apart, so the water goes deep, which encourages the roots to go deep. That way, grass does better in the summer.

Eco-Friendly Planting

When you practice eco-friendly planting, you’re really just working with nature instead of against it. Design your garden with nature and the environment in mind. Choose native plants to your area, and reduce pesticides and chemicals, which will encourage pollinators and friendly bugs that will eat pests. Encourage birds (they’ll eat pests too), and try composting to create fertile soil for your plants. While you’re taking care of your garden and yard, buy good tools to use. Go for a few quality pieces rather than a lot of cheap tools — it will be much better in the long run. And don’t forget to use a good pair of gloves to protect your hands during all this planting.

Plant a Rain Garden

Another eco-friendly practice is to create a rain garden in your yard. This isn’t a giant mudhole, but a depression in your landscape that collects rainwater and runoff from gutters. The rain garden is planted with deep-rooted, colorful, native plants that help the water seep quickly into the soil and drain away from your house.

Water conservation is one of the most important things you can do for the planet. Following these tips will help save water as you take care of your yard each year. If everyone does their part, it will all add up to make a difference.