A big problem for every gardening enthusiast is figuring out how to grow your garden in a way that is kind to the planet as well as to your wallet. Watering an entire garden can be troublesome, expensive and even illegal in drought areas. But plants need water, so what can you do?
Here are 5 easy tips on how to minimize the amount of water you use when you water your garden, helping you make sure that not a single drop is wasted.
1. Install a water butt/water catcher
The quickest, easiest and most effective way of saving water is to make use of any water that falls naturally from the sky. By installing a water butt you can capture any rain that runs off your roof and store it for use later on. This means that you can fill your watering can from your water butt and not from your tap, so you can water your garden with zero effect on your water bill.
2. Use a watering can (and use it correctly)
Using a watering can is a slower and more cumbersome way of watering plants than either a hosepipe or a sprinkler, but the amount of water you will save is unbelievable. Don’t bother with a watering can rose. All it does it prevent the water from sinking deep down in the soil.
The way you use your watering can is also an important thing to note. Aim the water right at the roots instead of just sprinkling it over the tops of the plants, where it will just evaporate.
3. Leave bigger gaps in between watering times
This piece of advice is obvious, but it requires you to keep a keen eye on your garden. You can usually go a lot longer between waterings than you would think, but you need to make sure you can balance on the line between a dry plant and a dead plant.
The main tip is to wait until you see the first signs of wilting before you water your plants. As long as you don’t wait too long after the plants begins to wilt, they’ll bounce back to life no problem when watered. Less frequent watering will save you tons of water, and if you time it properly so no plant gets too dry, then it will not do any damage to your plants.
It’s also a good idea to categorize your plants by age and need for water. Allocate your resources properly so that your seedlings and water-needy plants get watered most often, as naturally dry plants like shrubs can last a bit longer without water anyway.
4. Water early in the morning or late at night
The time when your water your garden is almost as important as the amount of water you use. Watering your garden at midday is pointless because most of the water will evaporate before it gets the chance to sink down to the roots, leaving your plant pretty much as dry as it was before. If you water your garden early in the morning when the sun is not as strong or after sunset, you will give the water the chance to sink down into the soil.
It’s also a good idea as you will get the chance to appreciate your garden at a time of the day that you don’t usually see it. It is beautiful to wander around in the early morning hours and appreciate every bloom in your garden.
5. Make good use of mulch and weeding
Adding a layer of mulch over your soil will help provide a barrier against any water that tries to evaporate, meaning that your soil will stay moist for longer. It is also very good for your soil and will help strangle some of your weeds.
On top of this, make sure that you regularly weed your plants, as it stops you wasting water on accidentally watering weeds. Don’t let any of those pesky weeds get by you, as they will steal the water you intend for your plants and ruin the soil.
So there you go. 5 easy ways that will make sure you aren’t wasting nature’s most important resource. Water is incredibly important to the ecosystem and to your wallet, so put all these tips into action and you will have good karma as well as a good garden.
Part time blogger and full time environmentalist Damien is constantly trying to find ways to better consumption; whether that be using less water, or switching or utilizing home solar panels and solar power. Photo by Denise Krebs