Green Home

Six Outside Watering Tips – How to Save Money and Conserve Our Most Precious Resource

Everyone would like to save money on his or her water bill. We all want to save water, one of the earth’s most precious resources. Below are six tips for conserving water when you water outdoors.

1- Inspect your faucets and hoses, looking for drips or leaks. You should fix these right away by replacing the washer, connector or hose. This can be one of the fastest ways you can save water. So whenever you water, take the time to look for any drips or leaks, before you begin.

2- Choose plants, shrubs and trees that use less water and are native to your area. Some plants gulp up water at an alarming rate, while others use much less water. Always place good amounts of mulch around your trees and plants. This helps catch and retain water longer. It also keeps weeds in check so they are not competing for water with your plants. To reduce the amount of water that your lawn uses, you should mow your grass, leaving a height of two to three inches. Grass that is taller grass casts shade on the roots of the grass and on the soil surface. This helps lessen the volume of water that you lose to evaporation.

3 – Be accurate with your water, meaning only water your plants and lawn, not the nearby roads, walkways or driveways. Turn on your sprinklers and observe where the water lands. You should adjust sprinklers as needed to only water the desired areas. Always choose sprinklers that emit large, low drops of water as opposed to high fine drops of water that can evaporate before landing.

4 – You should water in the early morning or later in the early evening to lessen the effects of evaporation. Definitely avoid watering your flowers, grass and plants during the part of the day that is hottest, usually between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Rather, water them in the early morning or wait until evening. Avoiding the hottest time of the day will reduce the volume of water you lose to evaporation. Avoid letting your lawn stay damp overnight because doing so can lead to fungus growth and disease growth.

5 – If you have a sprinkler system, you should utilize a rain sensor with your sprinkler system. These sensors work in conjunction with water controllers to avoid your sprinklers coming on during or shortly after a significant rainfall. This saves water since you don’t need to water at such as time.

6 – Water your plants well, but water less often. The rule of thumb is that a single inch of water will be sufficient to water the soil to a depth of four to six inches. That depth is all you need for nearly all plants and trees. To determine how long it takes to accumulate one inch of water, you can put a pan or can in the drop zone of the sprinkler and time how longs it takes to reach one inch. If you water too often in lesser amounts, your plants may develop shallow root systems. This can lead to unwanted disease and stress for your plants. A good test to figure out if your lawn needs to be watered is to have someone walk across the lawn. You then look for footprints. If you see footprints, it is probably time to water the lawn. A good deep watering once or maybe twice per week is ideal and is better than watering you lawn every day. When you allow your soil to dry out between watering sessions, you encourage the plants to grow deeper roots and thus become less susceptible to drought.