By now we all have become aware that water is a scarce resource and we should do our best to use it responsibly. The current landscape design trends also reflect this understanding as more sustainable alternatives are gaining momentum - a greener home begins with a greener yard (and not just literally). An easy, but very significant step you can take is implementing water conservation practices in your own home - here are some tips on how to do it.
1. Collect rainwater
Rainwater harvesting is the term describing collecting and keeping rainwater that you can use in your household and in the garden. Rainwater harvesting tanks storing the rainwater from your roof are simple to install and can fit in houses of any size. It may be among the easiest ways to save water, yet a great improvement in sustainability and relief for your water bill. Who would say no to that?
2. Group plants according to their water needs
You probably know that different plants have different needs for watering amount and frequency (if not, you really should - that makes a world of difference in their life span). By considering this when choosing their location, you can avoid over watering, which means you'll save more water and your plants will thank you. Besides, gardening will become easier as you won’t have to remember the demands of each one. That being said...
3. Get native and drought-resistant plants
Reorganizing your plants will help you save some water, sure, but choosing the ones that don’t need much in the first place will have a greater impact. Native plants have evolved to adapt to a particular area over many years, so they require significantly less care. Plants in their natural habitat also create a favorable environment to attract bees, birds and butterflies contributing to a healthy ecosystem. One way to achieve it is by keeping a wild garden, but if you’re into a neater landscape, there are plenty of vibrant local plants to choose from.
4. Limit the turf surface
Turf is among the most problematic parts of your landscape for water conservation, so if you take steps to reduce it, your effort will pay off. Having a perfect uniform lawn can be nice, unfortunately, maintaining it requires a huge amount of water. Regarding sustainability, you’ll be much better off by partially replacing the lawn with hardscape or drought-resistant plants.
5. Change the irrigation method
Along with rethinking the space devoted to the lawn, you may also want to reconsider irrigation methods. The process generally uses up a lot of water, but it’s not always efficient. The typical spray irrigation isn't effective in keeping the soil hydrated (especially for the plants in plant beds) and a lot of water is used in the meantime. Choose drip irrigation that distributes water directly at the roots instead to enjoy a sustainable and thriving garden.
6. Utilize mulch
Mulch minimizes the amount of water evaporating from the soil, maintains its temperature at a stable level, prevents weeds from growing and adds various nutrients. If any material was worthy of the “star of the garden” title, mulch would be it. You should place it on top of the plants’ roots, however, avoid putting it too close to the stem. A pro-tip: choose coarser mulch varieties so water can easily reach the soil.