We’re all very aware of how important it is to conserve as much water as possible, but it can be difficult to know how to. This can especially be the case if you’re an avid gardener and want to keep all of your plants in tip top condition. However, you shouldn’t worry because saving water doesn’t mean your plants have to suffer. This guide should help you learn how to cut down on water at the same time as keeping your gardening beautiful.
Look After Your Soil
Well-kept soil will hold its moisture, meaning that it will require less watering. You can encourage soil to hold this moisture in a number of ways:
- Add organic matter to improve the soil structure which helps it to remain moist.
- Mulch around the bases of shrubs and trees and over flowerbeds in the spring time; this will help prevent water evaporating from the soil.
- For soil in plant containers and hanging baskets use water-retentive granules or gel to keep the soil moist.
Water at the Right Times
Saving water doesn’t mean you should never water your plants. However, at different times, plants will benefit different amounts from being watered, which could mean you need to do it less often. Ideally, you should water plants at night when it is cooler. This will prevent water loss through evaporation.
Choose Plants that Require Less Water
Some plants, as a simple result of nature, require less plants than others. These plants are still beautiful to look at and would therefore be a great choice for someone who wants to reduce their use of water yet still have an attractive garden. Lavender, palms, mimosas and verbenas are just a few plants that require less water than others.
Reuse Old Water
This might be an obvious water-saving technique and it definitely should not be overlooked.
- Collect rainwater in a water butt, or even just a large bin if you don’t have one
- Reuse grey water. This could include water from your baths, showers and washing up bowls. Regular household detergents (e.g. washing up liquids and mild soaps) will not damage plants, but you should avoid using water that has had bleach or disinfectant in it.
Choose the Best Way to Water
Different techniques will be more effective and more environmentally friendly depending on what you’re using the water for:
- Sprinklers- These are best for lawns and unplanted areas in your garden as they can’t target specific areas, thus would waste water in planted areas.
- Hoses and Watering cans- These would be most suitable for watering the bases of plants as it’s a very precise technique and means little water is wasted as it goes directly where you want it to.
- Seep hoses- These are great as they can be buried underground which means less water will evaporate. They’re more suitable in areas with heavy soil as the water travels best sideways, meaning a bigger area will be covered than in lighter soil.
Do you have any tips on how to save water at the same time as keeping your garden looking beautiful? Let us know.
[Photo Credit: linda yvonne ]