7 Ways to Save Water in the Garden | Living the Country Life
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7 Ways to Save Water in the Garden

Your plants need water to survive, but it's a precious resource that shouldn't be squandered. Follow these tips to get your plants what they need without wasting water.
  • Reuse gray water

    Reusing and recycling things makes environmental sense, but many people don't think of reusing water. Gray water is water that has been used for bathing, laundry, and washing in the sink. Rather than letting this water go down the drain, you can re-route it and use it on your landscaping. Use bio-compatible soaps, and check local ordinances for rules on the storage, purification, and drainage of gray water.

    Date Published: June 4, 2014
    Date Updated: May 21, 2019
    Tags: Gardening
  • Mulch for moisture

    Horticulture Agent Dennis Patton at Kansas State University says the best way to conserve moisture is to put down a layer of mulch. "What a mulch layer does is cover up the soil so it keeps the sun rays from drying out the soil from evaporation, and it just holds that moisture into the soil, and it also keeps the soil cooler for the roots to grow," Patton says. "A properly applied mulch for a flower and vegetable garden should be somewhere about three-inches thick."

    Date Published: June 4, 2014
    Date Updated: May 21, 2019
    Tags: Gardening
  • Build a rain barrel

    Using rain barrels to capture the rain that runs through your home's eavespouts can save 1,300 gallons of water over the course of the summer. While there are many storebought models and kits available, you can build this rain barrel in a few hours, for less than $50 (click on the link below for instructions). You can use this water for your garden, lawn, and even watering livestock.

    Date Published: June 4, 2014
    Date Updated: May 21, 2019
    Tags: Gardening
  • When to water

    The ideal time to water is early in the morning. Temperatures are cooler, and there's usually less wind, which reduces evaporation. It also gives plants the chance to quickly dry off. Leaves that stay wet all night are more susceptible to disease.

    Date Published: June 4, 2014
    Date Updated: May 21, 2019
    Tags: Gardening
  • Slow soak

    Using a soaker hose on plants in the spring helps them get established. Soaker hose usage in the summer aids plants trying to survive with limited rainfall. Dennis Patton is an extension horticulture agent at Kansas State University. He says soaker hoses put the water right where it's needed with no loss to evaporation or wind. It's attached to a regular garden hose and the water seeps through thousands of tiny holes. Placement of the hose is important, because Patton says gravity pulls the water flow straight down. 

    Date Published: June 4, 2014
    Date Updated: May 21, 2019
    Tags: Gardening
  • One drip at a time

    Drip irrigation is the slow application of water directly to the plant's root zone using "drippers". It maintains a constant moisture level in the soil and there's less water lost to the sun and the wind. These systems can be used on flower and vegetable gardens and with containers.

    Date Published: June 4, 2014
    Date Updated: May 21, 2019
    Tags: Gardening
  • Make it last

    Containers and windowboxes need to be watered more often than plants that are in the ground. Several companies make mats that go on the bottom of the container or gel beads that are mixed into the soil. These absorb water when you water the plants, and hold it until the soil is dry and the plants need it. Another way to get similar results is to use a diaper! Open it up and place it lengthwise along the bottom of the container, then top with soil and add your plants.

    Date Published: June 4, 2014
    Date Updated: May 21, 2019
    Tags: Gardening

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