Don’t send your money down the drain: Water conservation tips for the yard

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Many people are familiar with water conservation efforts for the home. Did you know there are effective ways to conserve water in your yard and garden as well?

  • Planting a new lawn, tree or shrubs this summer? Consider drought-resistant plants, which require far less watering. The following sites offer great suggestions:
    Garden Guides, HouseLogic, Houzz, and Lifehacker.
  • Group plants together according to their watering needs and the slope descent of your yard, which will help retain water and reduce runoff.
  • Collect rain water in barrels to water your plants.
  • Don’t forget the mulch! Mulch slows evaporation and helps retain moisture while preventing weed growth.
  • Position sprinklers so the water lands in the lawn or garden – not on the sidewalk or road.
  • Only water when necessary. Step on the grass – if it springs up, you don’t need to water, but if it stays flat, the grass is thirsty.
  • Letting grass grow to three inches or taller promotes water retention in the soil.
  • Know how much water you need. Most lawns require a deep soak. Put an empty tuna can on your lawn when watering; when water reaches the top of the can, the lawn has been adequately watered.
  • Water early in the morning or later in the day to prevent fungus and to keep insects like slugs and other garden pests at bay.
  • Use a bucket of soapy water to wash your car and only rinse with the hose. This can save up to 150 gallons of water!
  • Don’t forget to check your outdoor hoses, pipes and faucets for leaks – just like inside.

For more information on water conservation, check out Eartheasy Sustainable Living, WaterSense and the Water Project.