Water is now a scarce and dwindling resource. As the demand for this precious commodity rises with each fleeting moment, prices also increase, along with countless legislations passed to discourage excessive use. In light of this, a wide range of techniques on gardening and lawn care have risen and fallen over the years in the attempt to make wise use of our resources while achieving maximum results.
Whether you’re looking to cut back on water consumption or simply seeking ways on how to spend the least amount of time watering your plants, making the most of this valuable resource starts by using the right landscape design strategies. Listed below are several approaches to a water-conscious garden design to help you save water, money, and ultimately, the planet Earth:
- Catch rainwater.
Collecting rainwater runoff from your roof and using it to water your plants is one of the most efficient ways to conserve water. According to RainBarrelGuide.com, you can collect around 600 gallons of rainwater from every inch of rain that falls onto a 1,000 square foot catchment area. You can save this much water by setting up a rainwater catchment system in your garden and directing the collected water to the plants in your garden.
- Harvest rainwater in cisterns.
If you are collecting more rainwater than your catchment system can bear, consider storing the extra water for later use. With the variety of containment choices now available in the market, an ugly, oversized barrel doesn’t need to establish residence in your yard. Instead, you can opt for some stylish storage tanks or pretty planters that serve a double purpose as rainwater cisterns. From these cisterns, you can harvest the water you need to irrigate your garden.
- Build a brimming water feature.
An interesting water feature always adds life and drama to the scenery. But you have to choose wisely to ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth. Avoid using flashy fountains with jets since they tend to lose water with each spray. Instead, learn from the example of Spain’s Moorish gardens and build a fountain that uses less water but with more effect. Interestingly, brimming water features act as mirrors that reflect the sky above and can psychologically cool its surroundings.
- Sprinkle sparingly.
If you’re someone who cares too much about their plants, you might have over-watered them on more than one occasion. While you have good intentions, that does not excuse the fact that you’ve wasted a huge amount of water on your lawn and garden. Your plants only need so much water, so try not to be wasteful, reduce water use, and sprinkle sparingly. When it rains, it’s best to turn your sprinklers off. Also, watering in the early hours of the morning helps reduce evaporation and allow more water to seep into your garden.
- Use drip irrigation and separate shrub valves from tree valves.
Forget sprinklers. Save 50 percent more water and use a drip irrigation system in your garden. There’s hardly any risk of water loss from evaporation or runoff. From large gardens to individual planters, you can install a drip irrigation system almost anywhere. With this new watering technique, you have total control over how much water you want to supply to each area. Also, to avoid wasting water on plants that don’t need as much, group them according to their water needs, making sure each one is attended to with the proper amount.
- Use more gravel, less grass.
While most people cover their entire garden with grass, you can deviate from the norm and try installing gravel or decomposed granite in strategic locations. For extra shade, consider surrounding the area with canopy trees. It’ll do wonders to minimize water consumption while cooling your home in the process. A gravel sitting area would be a nice addition to your garden, topped off a farmhouse table and some chairs. Upcycled benches, comfy throws, and recycled pillows can also give the space more life and color.
- Use mulches and compost on and in soil.
Considered as one of the best moisture holding techniques you can utilize, adding a few inches of mulch and compost around plants and trees can perform wonders to your garden. These substrates both help retain water and slow the evaporation of moisture, ensuring that none will go to waste. Your garden will be given more than enough time to enjoy and take in a long sip of water. Mulch is an ideal gardening tool due to its moisture-retaining qualities, allowing your garden to achieve optimum soil moisture all throughout the season.
- Use trees as the backbone of the garden.
For a water-conscious and budget-wise design you can never go wrong by covering the ground with gravel. Nevertheless, too much gravel can cause your garden to look dry and feel hot. So add in some trees that are tall enough to provide adequate shade and greenery. Incorporating trees in the design of the landscape allows you to create focal points and structure in your garden.
- Create microclimates.
Buildings, ponds, patios, and fences are several objects which can contribute to a microclimate being made in your garden. When creating microclimates, always think of moisture and shade. The combination of these two factors can help form a microclimate in specific areas in your garden. You can use shade structures and even walls to cover some portions of the garden from the sun to help pave the way for a microclimate to be made in those areas.
- Collect gray water from your sinks.
Unbeknownst to us, the amount of gray water we produce daily is surprisingly high. Keep the water that would otherwise go down the drain in a suitable container and use it to irrigate your potted plants. Even water left over in drinking glasses can be collected in a pitcher for your plants’ consumption later.
- Use drought-tolerant plants.
Despite the common misconception, succulents aren’t the only drought-tolerant plants that exist. You’ll be pleased to know that herbs, such as lavender and rosemary, are not only pleasing to the smell, useful in a variety of dishes, and handy in freshening up the home, but also extremely water-conscious. If you’re looking for border plants, consider incorporating Little Ollie Dwarf Olives into your garden. Clean and compact-growing, they are shrubs that require very little attention and water.
Be wise in your gardening methods and incorporate these useful tips to help cut down water usage while still maintaining that beautiful garden you’ve always enjoyed. Sooner or later you will enjoy the benefits of a low-maintenance and environmentally–friendly garden that people will want to gravitate to
Bio: Jane Anderson is a person who loves to write an article on various topics such as health, gardening, lawn care etc. He spends his time doing things that make him feel happy like gardening. He believes yard is an important part of the house. For more information visit yardday.com.