How to Conserve Water When Watering Your Lawn and Garden
Water conservation is not only great for the environment, but also important for the family budget and pocketbook. A small pipe leak or water problem can add up over time as well as inefficiently watering your lawn or garden. Here are some ways you can cut back on water.
The first thing you can do to save money on the water bill is to look at the times you are watering your lawn and garden. Watering in the afternoons when the temperature is hot is much less efficient that doing it in the early morning, or even late evening. The best times are between the hours of 4 am to 10 am. The temperatures are typically cooler, and there is generally less wind to cause evaporation, ideal for the water to actually make a difference when watering. If you have trouble remembering when to water the lawn or garden, set up an automatic timer to help you.
Watch the amount of water used when watering and adjust if needed. Make a note of where water pools up, and if any extra water drains onto sidewalks or down a storm drain. If this is happening, then this area needs less water than the rest of the lawn and the excess water is just wasted. Or, this area may be need to be aerated properly to ensure water is getting to the roots. Knowing which areas need less water is helpful for the timing, so you should periodically adjust the timers.
If you don't have an automatic sprinkler system, the above still applies: water during the early morning hours, and set your timer for the most efficient watering. It also can help instead of one long watering, break up the timing for a couple of short waterings to ensure the best water soakings and prevent water run-off from the watering.
Some areas of the lawn don't need any more water than a spray from a hose once a week. Areas with trees and shrubs probably don't have the same water requirements that a flower bed or a lawn need.
Routinely check all sprinkler heads. If there is a problem, identify and fix it. If one head is clogged or broken, it will not get to the areas that need the water, and may cause a large amount of water to go down the drain or flood another area of the garden.
For those areas of the country that get rain, install a rain sensor. There are many to choose from and they work by identifying rain amounts and shutting off the sprinkler system if it detects a certain amount. There is no use watering your lawn if nature does it for your for free. Another system to think about is one for water collection. They are installed to collect rain water, and fill up tanks that can be used for landscaping or indoor use. Tax credits may apply in certain areas.
The last thing to think about when conserving water is drip line irrigation for areas that require a lot of water. Drip lining can be professional installed or simple hose attachments to the faucet. This type of watering actually waters close to the ground, so that it targets the roots of the plants. By preventing the water to cover the plants themselves, there is less possibility of a significant amount of water to be lost through evaporation and run-off.
Knowing your garden and lawn can go a long way for water conservation. Identify which areas of the lawn need more water and less water and adjust the water usage accordingly instead of watering the same amount to each area.