Water conservation is important, especially in hot, dry regions like Texas. Conserving water is good not only for your water bill, but also for the environment, our ecosystem, and our future. If you’re interested in finding ways to minimize your water usage, here are seven water conservation tips for your outdoor areas.
1. Plant Appropriate Species Of Plants
Plants that are native to the area will be used to getting less water, and will be much easier to care for. Xeriscaping can also reduce or eliminate watering entirely by using rocks and other pretty features instead of plants.
2. Use Mulch To Retain Moisture
Bare soil loses moisture much faster, requiring watering more frequently. Instead, cover the ground with mulch, or even a native, drought-resistant ground cover. The moisture will stay in the ground longer, and your yard’s water needs will drop dramatically.
3. Promote Healthier Soil With Compost
Have you been turned on to composting yet? Spreading a layer of compost on top of your gardens not only returns much-needed nutrients to the soil, but also helps with water retention. Healthier soil actually absorbs more water and retains it for longer, reducing the need for water.
4. Water Only When You Have To
Only water your lawn when it needs it. Not sure how to tell? Step on your lawn and look to see whether the grass rebounds. If it doesn’t spring back, it’s time to water. For gardens, you can check the soil to see if it looks dry under the mulch or ground cover, or get a sensor that goes into the ground and tells you when it’s time to water.
5. Plan For The Best Times To Water
Always plan your watering times when you can take best advantage of temperature and weather. For instance, try to water in early morning, when it’s cool, so that the water will sink into the ground instead of evaporating. You should also avoid watering when it’s windy, since you will have less control over where the water goes.
6. Utilize An Eco-Friendly Watering System
There are many various watering systems that can help you minimize your water usage. The most common and most basic is the timed sprinklers, which allows you to set your sprinklers to come on during an optimal time, such as early in the morning. Soaker hoses and drip-irrigation make better use of the water by funneling it directly to the soil around the plant. A rain barrel system can also conserve water by catching rain water for you to use in watering your plants.
If your sprinkler system isn’t working efficiently this summer, give it a checkup with our Midsummer Sprinkler Tuneup Checklist.
7. Don’t Use Water For Unnecessary Tasks
Finally, don’t use water when you don’t really need to. For instance, sweep patios and paths and wipe down patio furniture with a damp rag, rather than hosing everything. Minimize water use when washing your car by using a bucket to do the actual washing and only running the hose as a final rinse.
Water is one of our world’s most precious resources, and even though we have plenty of clean water available to us here, we shouldn’t take it for granted, especially in dry areas such as North Texas. Use these water conservation tips to help you minimize your water usage as much as possible.