Tips for Saving on Your Summer Water Bill
There is no question that water is vital to the life of your garden and yard, yet it can also become one of the biggest expenses involved in maintaining your landscaping during the growing season. All too often, gardeners waste this precious resource by not watering their gardens and yards smartly. Whether your area is suffering from a drought or not, cutting down on water usage is important both for the environment as well as your pocketbook. Here are some tips for conserving water and saving on your summer water bill.
- Water deeply: One of the most important things you can do to cut down on your summer water bill is to make sure that when you do water, you water deeply, soaking the root zone rather than the surface of your yard. Shallow watering is wasteful, as it does little good for the plant, encourages shallow root development, and causes the soil to dry out much more quickly than it would with a good soaking. To be effective, the water should work its way down at least several inches into the soil.
- Plant native: Native plants have had hundreds and hundreds of years to adjust to your area’s normal rainfall, soil, and climate, and therefore are extremely hardy. In fact, in most cases once native plants are established, they require little or no watering throughout the season, which makes them a smart garden choice.
- Group plants according to watering needs: To maximize your water resources during the hot summer months, group your plants strategically according to how much water they require. Place drought tolerant plants in one spot, moderate water plants in another, and water guzzlers in a third. For convenience, put high water use plants nearer to the house so they are easier to get to with a hose.
- Be generous with mulch: Placing mulch around plants locks in soil moisture to reduce water loss while helping to keep away pesky weeds. Organic mulches are always best, as they will gradually break down and add nutrients to your soil. Some natural mulches to choose from include bark chips, pine needles, grass clippings, and ground-up leaves.
- Minimize your lawn: The bottom line is, the lawn is the SUV of any landscape (except that it’s a water guzzler rather than a gas guzzler). In fact, on average a lawn will require at minimum an inch of water every week. If you want to lower those water bills, the first thing you need to do is to cut down on the amount of square footage in your yard that is dedicated to the lawn. Rather than maintaining vast expanses of grass, use it as an accessory in your garden to set off garden beds and hardscaping.
- Water in the early morning: In fact, the best time to water a yard is right before sunrise, where evaporation will be minimal and plant leaves will have time to dry quickly and thoroughly before any fungal diseases have a chance to set in. If getting up at 5:00 a.m. just isn’t in your routine, consider investing in an automatic sprinkler and watering system to get the job done.
When you water smartly, you can have a great yard and garden without jacking up the water bill. Follow these simple tips, and you will be surprised how easy it is to keep those watering costs down.