From time to time, most parts of the country experience some degree of water shortage. It may only last a week or two, or it may last long enough for us to lose some of our valuable plants, but in any case it's best to be prepared for the dry times. Here are a few tips to help you conserve water in your garden:
- Mulch helps the soil retain moisture, and also improves the appearance of your garden.
- Select native plants as often as possible. These plants are adapted to the climate in your area.
- Water less often, but more deeply, and focus on the root zones rather than the entire yard.
- Terrace steep slopes to reduce runoff.
- Maintaining a lush, green lawn requires a lot of water. Consider planting a groundcover instead.
- Sandy soils lose water because they drain quickly, and clay soils lose water to runoff. Adding organic matter to these soils will help them hold moisture. It costs nothing to start a compost pile, and in a few months you'll have a ready supply of organic matter to work into your soil.
- Recycle household wastewater from your dishwasher, bathtub and kitchen sink. You can also use water from your washing machine if you limit the use of detergents containing boron (borax) and chlorine bleach.
- Set out an old-fashioned rain barrel connected to the downspout on your house for a ready supply of water.