Landscaping Water Saving Ideas

Water is one of the most important natural resources. Home landscape designs have become increasingly water-conscious as a result. Water-wise practices, such as maximizing natural backyard elements can have many benefits for homeowners and for society as a whole. In addition to preserving this precious resource, water conservation also prevents pollution of our local water supplies. Further, updating landscape to conserve water as part of a home equity project is a smart financial move. Water efficient landscape features can dramatically reduce homeowners water bills

Ways to Conserve Water 

Is it possible to create a beautiful landscape for a home that also conserves water? Of course! Learn how to reduce landscape water use while maintaining a beautiful lawn with these smart tips.

Tips to Conserve Water with Landscaping 

There are many practices that capture runoff or gray water, then returning it to the landscape. First, it is recommended that rain barrels, cisterns, and porous paving are used as water collection methods for capturing water runoff. These water capturing methods are ideally used for irrigation. 
The use of rain gardens is a great way to capture and clean groundwater before it enters the soil. Though they are dry most of the time, after a rainfall, rain gardens will hold water. A beautiful and functional rain garden can be created by using native shrubs, perennials, and flowers. 
Landscape irrigation can also be used as a system to reuse gray water or capture rainwater. In addition to being easy to install, these systems can even be integrated into existing irrigation systems.
Choose turf wisely if it is a must. As an example, fescue turf requires a lot of water to stay lush and green compared to other turfgrass varieties. Water conservation is significantly improved by reducing turf areas because large areas of turf are one of the major causes of water over consumption. Try to incorporate turf only in areas only where necessary, such as areas where dogs and children will use it.

How to Save Water 

Water conservation means using and managing water and water resources efficiently. Reducing unnecessary water usage and evaporation should be a part of a homeowners regular outdoor maintenance projects. To further water conservation property owners and professional landscape architects can employ many planting strategies. Here are a few to consider. 

Tips to Save Water when Planting  

  • When deciding what plants to install in the yard, think about native plants and drought-resistant varieties. Once established, they require little maintenance and little watering. 
  • Water use zones can be created by grouping plant materials according to their water requirements. Plants that require a lot of water should be avoided. Instead consider drought-tolerant plants since their water requirements are naturally low. Local nurseries stock a number of drought-tolerant plants. 
  • A majority of plants need a sufficient amount of sunlight and plenty of water to thrive. So water conservation should be considered when formulating a landscaping plan. Be sure to plan ahead so that all new plantings can be completed in the spring. It requires much less water for plants to establish themselves in the spring than during the summer.
  • Organize landscaping using hydrozones, which are groups of plants that require similar amounts of water. The amount of water that plants need to thrive varies from plant to plant. For instance, compared to lawns, trees and shrubs require less frequent deep watering. In order to reduce the amount of water used by lawns, it is recommended only to plant them where they serve a practical purpose and cover a small area. An attractive yard and garden can still be achieved by xeriscaping, or using local stones and strictly native plants. In a vegetable garden, plant bulbs, edible roots, and fruits that require heavy watering separately from the heavy watering vegetables. After that, plant less water-demanding perennial herbs in another area. 
  • When planting, use compost and cover the area with mulch. The compost keeps the water near the roots of the plants, while the mulch prevents evaporation. Avoid creating mulch mounds around plants and trees, and leave some space around their bases.
  • Add organic material generously to soils before planting. There are many organic soil amendments available. For example, peat moss, wood chips, straw, grass clippings, and manure can all be used as an amendment. Water-retaining soil amendments are available commercially. By adding these types of soil amendments, the plants will be able to develop a broader root system. Soils with better aeration, drainage, and water-holding capacity allow the soil to breathe naturally. Additionally, amendments encourage the infiltration of water into the ground and prevent runoff. 

Reduce Home Water Consumption

There are a variety of ways to reduce the amount of water that is used to maintain a home's landscape. Incorporating water conservation tactics into a home's landscaping, whether it's when building a dream home or updating an existing one, is good for the planet and can save homeowners money. Here are a few pointers.

Tips to Reduce Landscape Water Consumption 

  • Water consumption in American households averages 400 gallons per day, with about 30% being used outside. Rather than watering on a regular basis. To combat this, consider watering plants less frequently and with heavier soakings. Keep in mind, water from sprinklers can evaporate up to a third of their water during the heat of the day. If watering with sprinklers is a must, then only use them only in the mornings. 
  • Throughout the season, it is a good idea to regularly check sprinkler systems and hoses.  It is common for sprinklers and hoses to leak, resulting in unintentional water waste. Their lifespan will be shortened if they're constantly exposed to the elements instead of being shaded, stored in a shed, or buried in mulch.
  • Plants watered directly at the root by drip irrigation systems are more efficient than being watered by sprinklers. This saves gallons of water per year compared to conventional sprinklers. For maximum effectiveness, get a watering timer.

More Landscaping Water Saving Ideas 

To learn more about saving water with landscaping and get involved in conservation efforts visit the EPA’s website to learn about local initiatives. Additionally check out international organizations such as: Freshwater, The International Water Association, and The Water Project.

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