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Saving water: For garden planning

by Jim Fox 09/22/2022

One of the best ways to live more sustainably is by conserving water. For garden and yard care, however, this can sometimes be a challenge. It helps to know exactly when, where and how to water your garden with minimal waste - while still keeping your plants healthy and thriving.

If you’re interested in ways to conserve water in your gardening practices, try these tips:

Drought-tolerant plants

Plants that are “drought-tolerant” don’t require watering as frequently as other plants. While your first thought might be desert cacti or succulents, there is a wide variety of drought tolerant plants suitable for any sustainable garden.

Some popular flowering examples include geraniums, lavender and wild lilac. For edible plants, artichokes are your best choice for a low water garden.

All drought-tolerant plants are different, but tend to enjoy sandy soil with good drainage. These plants still help you save water even when the soil moisture is low, as they store water in their tubers, leaves and other structures.

Mulch

Mulch is the term for a protective layer of organic material spread out over the soil in your garden. It typically contains wood chips, straw, fallen leaves, grass clippings and other garden waste.

Mulch plays an integral role in water conservation by helping control the level of moisture in the soil. With a layer of fresh mulch, the soil surface takes longer to dry out. This means your plants are happier longer between watering trips.

Collecting & recycling water

Rainwater collection systems are perfect for gardens in almost all climates, as they help you store and reuse water when you need it most. Rain barrels are a simple way to collect water from your home’s gutters without digging any trenches or laying pipes.

For more elaborate rain collecting, you can implement a “wet” collection system to route water underground. Either way, collecting and recycling waste water will lower your environmental impact and your water utility bills when gardening.

Low water gardens come in all types, from vegetable gardens to vibrant floral landscapes. As long as you keep these water conservation tips in mind, you’ll help the environment and care for your thirsty plants at the same time.

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