According to the EPA, there are two major ways that we can conserve water outside. The first is planting trees and shrubs that meet the zone we live in, and then watering this vegetation just enough to meet their needs.
A properly planted and watered yard can thrive even in drought conditions. Here are some further tips that should help conserve water under most circumstances:
- Stick to the early a.m. for watering. Coolest times of the day are best, and try to avoid watering when it’s windy.
- Keep the soil healthy. Fertilizing on a regular basis conditions the soil to allow for better water absorption and retention.
- Raise the mower cutting deck. In the hot days of summer, keeping the grass a bit longer protects the roots and allows for better water retention. This keeps down weed growth when the roots are healthy.
- Check the coverage. If you have a sprinkler system, heads get bumped and can move around over time. Verify they are properly aimed to avoid waste on streets and sidewalks.
- Don’t over water. If the water is forming a puddle reduce watering time. Puddles run off and waste water.
- Avoid evaporation by using soaker hoses and trickle irrigation where possible.
- Maximize effectiveness by using the rain. During hot dry periods when a passing rain shower hits run the sprinklers to utilize the water coming down and lower evaporation rates.
- Turn off the system when it rains. If there is a nice rain shower, consider skipping a water cycle to allow Mother Nature to work.
- Repetitive watering. To avoid run off mentioned earlier, run sprinkler for 15-20 minutes, then wait a couple hours and repeat for another 15-20. This will allow the water to soak into the roots before run-off.
- Skip a day. It is recommended to skip a day or two to allow roots to go deeper. Watering every day for short periods keeps roots on the surface which dry out quicker in high temperatures.