Saving Water in Gardening – Water is a limited resource, and its availability has indeed been irregular in recent seasons. We demonstrate how to conserve water in gardening.
In the past few years, several countries have been facing acute water shortages, especially drinking water. The water processing plants are no longer able to meet the demand from urban centers. Hence, the need to conserve water, mainly in gardening-related activities becomes important. According to the Federal Environment Agency, as climate change worsens, demand for freshwater resources will intensify. Reasons enough to consider water conservation in the garden.
We’ve compiled a list of six handy tips for conserving water in the garden. Water conservation can be achieved by good garden layout, proper plant selection, soil improvement, smart irrigation systems, and, of course, the utilization of rainwater, all of which are based on the design approach of “xeriscaping.” A significant amount of water can be conserved, particularly on lawns.
In this post you can learn about
What is Xeriscaping
(“xerós” = Greek for “dry”, “scaping” from English “landscaping” = landscape design) Xeriscaping, also known as zero-scaping or xeroscaping, is just the name given to a landscape and garden design idea that is intended to save on irrigation. Its development was motivated by the desire to allow landscaping in areas with very little regular rainfall without the need for irrigation, which is not only costly but it also contaminates potable water treatment or groundwater during dry seasons. This principle is made up of seven components.
7 Steps for Best Xeriscaping Practice
- Planning and design
- Soil development and adapting to the needs of plants
- Efficient irrigation
- Appropriate plant and site selection
- Reduced /adapted turf
- Proper maintenance
Some of the recommendations that follow are also part of xeriscaping, although they have been adapted and broadened for household garden needs.
6 Water Saving Tips for Gardeners
Water-Saving Garden Planning and Design
If planned properly, a garden’s future water use can be significantly influenced even during the conceptual design phase. For example, using large-crowned trees to create shaded areas can help save water. All the plants under the tree benefit from the shade since it minimizes evaporation.
Covering the ground has the effect of reducing evaporation, which is far more significant than the transpiration of most plants. Planning ahead of time for ground cover in beds or the placement of bark mulch means less watering later on. Pine bark is not only functional in preventing evaporation, but it’s also aesthetically pleasing. It protects soil from eroding, weeding, and drying by using organic pine bark mulch.
Due to lawns’ high water usage, it’s reasonable to reduce them to their bare minimum. However, lawns should not just be a decorative aspect; they should be used for recreational activities like ball sports, sunbathing, or reading.
Using Water-Saving Plants
You’ll be surprised at the number of low-care plants you can find that thrive with just a little water. All rock garden plants, for example, are drought resistant, so using them saves a significant amount of water. There is no restriction on what plants can go in your garden, but you should choose them based on the type of soil that they will grow in.
The more humus and loamy your soil is, the more water it can hold. As a result, you have the option of selecting plants that require more water. If your soil is sandy and deficient in humus, it’s best to choose drought-tolerant plants that won’t necessitate lugging a watering can around the house many times a day in the summer.
Make sure to put drought-loving sun-seekers in one bed and shade- and moisture-loving plants in another. Don’t mix them together. The soil in certain areas of your garden can be improved to allow thirstier plants to flourish. As a result, you save time by avoiding watering areas that don’t require it, and you also save money.
Improve the Soil’s Water Retention
When rainfall or sprayed water does not get absorbed by the soil, it just runs off into the earth, where it is lost forever. Soils with a lot of coarse pores, such as those found in deserts, don’t hold water very well. Clay and loam soils are rich in water-absorbent and -retentive swellable clay minerals. As a result, adding clay can enhance a soil’s ability to retain water.
Humus, on the other hand, is far more successful at retaining water since it absorbs so much of it. Spreading huge volumes of clay on the field is more difficult than increasing the humus content of the soil. You may increase the amount of humus in your soil by managing it properly.
As a result, you’ll have to water your lawn less frequently and lose less water to evaporation. Use bark mulch or some other comparable material to cover any areas that will not be planted. Building humus by “area composting” and shading the soil reduces water evaporation.
How to save water by tilling: If you cannot or do not want to mulch inside the vegetable bed, you must plow there frequently. As a result, less water evaporates because the soil pores’ water suction is disrupted.
In terms of irrigation, rainwater is preferable due to its lower pH and lower concentration of lime. So, by collecting and storing it, high-quality water becomes readily available without costing anything. Additionally, the cost of treating drinking water is not increased.
If the collecting tanks are sufficiently large, you will be able to go through several dry periods. Instead of installing numerous rain barrels, if you have a large yard you should strive to collect rainwater in an underground tank. During the cooler, rainier months, this can be utilized to store water that can be pumped up and utilized during the summer months.
However, building a drainage system that also collects rainwater is a significant undertaking, and you should consult with professionals for assistance.
Watering Plants Properly
While watering, you’ll also be saving water. Making sure as little liquid evaporates immediately rather than seeping into the soil and being taken up by plants is necessary to achieve this goal. There’s a common practice of watering plants in the late afternoon or evening when it’s cooler.
Sprinklers and rotational sprinklers, most of which also finely vaporize the water, enabling more water to evaporate than other types of sprinklers. Drip hoses, which discharge water in the form of droplets exactly above the ground, are the most efficient watering tools.
It’s also possible to encourage deeper root growth by watering less regularly and for longer periods of time. This forces the roots to go deeper into the soil in quest of water. The plants become more drought-resistant as a result of the good roots that occur.
#Tip: Just using glazed clay pots or lining unglazed clay pots using impermeable film to minimize water evaporation from the pot can also help conserve water for potted plants. You can also increase the watering interval by adding crushed clay or bentonite.
Effectively Watering Lawn Gardens
Classic lawns, as previously indicated, need a lot of water to stay lush and green during dry spells. A reduction in the lawn size in this area will save a significant amount of water. People who insist on having vast lawns, however, have a few options. In dry places, employ specialized seed combinations.
This is accomplished by incorporating water-saving grass species, some of which need only a fourth of the water of traditional lawn grasses and continue to look green long after other plants have faded away. In this article, we’ll talk about grass seeding and how to do it correctly.
Saving a significant amount of water can also be accomplished by properly adjusting care in the heat. Potassium plays a critical function in the lawn’s water balance, so make sure you give it plenty. In dry areas, a lawn fertilizer with a high enough potassium mineral content is therefore required. The potassium in the fertilizer ensures that your grass gets the nutrition it needs.
Summers that are hot and dry call for caution when it comes to mowing. In one mowing pass, never cut more than half of the blade height, and never mow lower than four inches. The evening is the perfect time to mow because it’s cooler and wetter.
Many people believe that in the summer, lawns dry out or “burn up,” and die. Lawn plants go into summer dormancy if it is too dry or hot for them. To put it another way, they stop growing because the conditions are too bad – just like they do in the winter. The grasses re-sprout as soon as the weather turns cooler and wetter. If you don’t mind your grass becoming yellow for a few weeks in the middle of summer, this is an excellent alternative for you.