Garden Water Conservation Techniques

Jul 5 2012

There are many reasons people love to garden. They may like the look of planters and garden plots, may love having plenty of fresh veggies on hand right from their yard, or they may simply enjoy the act of gardening itself.

Gardens of all varieties can be lovely, yet they all too often have one thing in common: high water usage. Outdoor watering is responsible for a large percentage of domestic water consumption. Not only does high water usage put a strain on the environment, it also drives up your water bill every month. Yet, there’s more to gardening than just a pretty yard. Is it possible to satisfy your green thumb while still saving water?

Redesigning Your Irrigation
Garden drip systemWhen looking at water conservation, the first thing to examine is your delivery method. Inefficient irrigation may be the culprit for many a high water bill. Installing a drip system is one of the best ways to conserve water in your garden. A drip system delivers water right where plants need it most: directly at the roots. This minimizes not only the volume of water, which is used during the watering process, but also the amount of evaporation which occurs through other watering methods. To further retain moisture in your garden, mulch may be mounded around the plant bases to help the freshly watered ground stay moist and cool as long as possible.

Inviting Shade
Planting trees or tall shrubs, or building a shade structure will all help keep your garden area cool, which helps conserve water. Although planting yet more growing things may seem like taking two steps back in your water conservation efforts, using shrubs or trees which are native to the area won’t require a lot of extra watering after they’re established. Alternatively, climbing vines can be trained up a trellis overhead to form a living green canopy, which will protect your garden from getting too much sun.

Using Native Foliage
Another great way to save water usage in your garden is by planting native foliage. Already perfectly suited to your environment, they’ll need very little in the way of extra care in order to stay healthy and growing. Choosing native plants will not only cut down on your watering, but the amount of tending in general which your garden requires; wild varieties of grasses and flowers tend to be much hardier than their domesticated counterparts. If you live in an area where native plants tend to need more water, you may also look into xeriscaping your yard with non-native low-water species.

Adjust Your Landscaping
Changing the layout of your yard to reduce water needs is another easy solution for water conservation. Removing sections of water-guzzling natural lawn and replacing it with artificial turf can do this. Not only does synthetic grass require zero water to stay green, it’s also more resilient to kids and pets than natural lawn. Other options include building a deck, porch or flagstone patio in place of a live lawn. Container gardens may also prove to be a more water-friendly choice than traditional plots and rows. Several cheerful containers gathered together can make a unique focal point and save water, while still giving gardeners a place to practice their craft.

Staying Green
By following some of the suggestions above, you can transform your yard from a water-guzzler to a water-saver in no time. Start first by redesigning your existing space with an eye toward saving water, and go from there. Through a use of native or low-water foliage, addition of strategic shade, installation of more efficient irrigation, and inclusion of artificial lawn or other manmade elements in your yard, you won’t have to sacrifice style in order to stay environmentally savvy. Building water conservation techniques right into your landscaping plan will help your garden- and your wallet- stay healthy and full of green.

Andrew Sullivan is the owner of Andyman Synthetic Turf. Serving both residential and commercial sectors, the company has helped hundreds of properties achieve independence from governing natural lawns. Owned and operated by Australians, the company is proud to offer Australian-made synthetic turf to Sunshine Coast customers.

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