Your lawn and garden can remain green and beautiful, even when there are municipal watering restrictions.
Water use can spike dramatically during the summer months. Yet most of that additional water isn’t being used for drinking — instead, we’re using much of it to keep our lawns and gardens green.
Extended water use during dry spells can leave city and town water reservoirs dangerously low, causing some municipalities to impose restrictions on lawn and garden watering. Nobody wants their lawns or gardens turning brown just when they should be looking their best, but fortunately there are ways to care for your yard that allow you to conserve water and ease pressure on our communities’ water resources.
During the summer, your lawn needs about one inch (2.5 cm) of water per week; a popular trick is to place an empty tuna can in your lawn and only irrigate until it’s full — unless nature has already done it for you.
Choosing when and where you water can make a difference to how much you will use. For example, if you water in the early morning, the water will tend to sink to the plants’ roots (where they need it) before it can evaporate. The leaves of plants generally don’t need irrigation, and water evaporates off them quickly. You can also use drip irrigation or a soaker hose to deliver water directly to the roots, as opposed to a spray type sprinkler.
For grass, you may still need a sprinkler, but you can make those more effective too, by avoiding hard surfaces and sprinkling slowly, which prevents runoff and waste.
Finally, even during municipal watering restrictions, you can collect rain in a rain barrel and use it when it’s most needed.
Landscaping for efficiency
If you’re considering a new garden or additional landscaping, you have a great opportunity to save water while beautifying your property, and even reduce the effort needed to maintain it. Designing your lawn and garden for water efficiency involves taking local climatic and soil conditions into account and choosing the right plants for the right locations.
It is important to consider the specific conditions of your yard taking into account sunny and shady spots, existing plants and your own space needs and design around those elements. Questions to consider may include: Will a building or large tree prevent some plants from getting enough sunlight? Will sandy soil prevent some plants from flourishing? Are there slopes and depressions in the soil that tend to channel or concentrate water flow? And where do you and your family want to rest, play, or work? Are there high traffic areas that could benefit from a stone or pebble pathway instead of worn out turf?
With that in mind, you may find that you need to adapt some of the existing conditions through landscaping, transplanting, fertilizing, or mixing soil types, before you can begin selecting plants.
A key point is to select plants that can thrive where you place them: exotic plants can be showy, but if they are not adapted to your local climate, it will take more work to keep them growing. Using local or hardier varieties will save considerable effort and water. You can also consider where water will flow when deciding where to plant, and group plants that have similar needs for water and shade, to simplify watering and care.
These are only a few tips on saving water; there are many techniques to keep your property lush during even the driest times. To find out more, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has an About Your House fact sheet called Water-Saving Tips for Your Lawn and Garden. Download your free copy at cmhc.ca.
Article From: http://www.lfpress.com/2014/07/17/your-home-simple-water-saving-tips-can-keep-grass-green-during-dry-spells