These water-conservation tips help create beautiful, eco-friendly gardens. Follow the list, save water, show up your neighbors.
1. Locals know best. Just ask the plants.
Help your garden go back to its roots. In their eons of existence, native plants have cultivated an entire heritage. They fought the fight, adapted to the climate, and victoriously flourished—essentially, they know the land better than any other plants. Visit your nearby cooperative extension or botanical garden to research species!
2. You cut grass. Grass cuts mulch costs. Mulch cuts water-loss.
With stuffed nose and balled fist, you may have cursed a pile of no-good grass clippings. But if used right, all that fresh-cut grass serves as a productive citizen of your yard. Spread mowed grass and ground-up leaves in flower and vegetable gardens for a free mulch supplement.
3. Sorry James, imagination won’t get you your giant peach.
Now is the team to start watering your trees! If you want plump fruits, be sure to provide adequate soil moisture during April and May.
4. Keep your plants social drinkers.
Some flowers enjoy the occasional sip of H20. Plant them far way in a “natural zone” where they can survive on rainfall. Others guzzle water down like a frat boys. Keep the thirsty guys together. Near the house, they can drink roof runoff. Think of it as Greek row, only the red cups contain water.
5. Do donuts.
No, not in the grocery parking lot at 2 a.m., reliving your Jack-and-Diane days. Tending to shrubbery is a much safer, greener, and socially acceptable mid-life crisis. Form donut-shaped soil berms around young trees and shrubs. Then fill it up with water. The donut will let the roots absorb water slowly, a must for adolescent trees.
6. April ______ bring May flowers.
Something might be missing from the old nursery rhyme. We associate spring with rain, but don’t be an April fool—as the weather warms up and the days grow longer, you still should water your plants.
7. Xeriscaping saves up to 80% of water.
“Xeriscape” rolls off the tongue and flows like the water it saves. The water-conscious gardening technique can decrease consumption by 150 gallons a day. Avoid any water loss, use drought-tolerant plants and design gardens according to your location (see #1).