Ah, the green, green grass of home. Who doesn’t like to walk barefoot across a carpet-like lawn? Water restrictions and increased environmental awareness, however, may give you reason to consider alternatives to that football-field-like yard you’ve been painstakingly maintaining through the years. Consider these water-saving tips and make the most of your landscaping.
Eliminate part of your lawn, especially on the southern and western parts of your property that heat up the most. Keep an area for the kids to play or for that game of croquet; then, put in native ground covers, a rock garden, or a perennial flower bed. Less lawn also means fewer pesticides washing into the water supply.
Replace heavy-water-requirement grasses like Kentucky bluegrass with a more drought-resistant variety.
Water just where it’s needed. Group plants with similar watering requirements together so you can direct your water efficiently. Consider drip irrigation, which uses much less water and delivers it directly to roots.
Mulch, Mulch, Mulch
Straw, wood chips or bark chips help soil retain moisture and cut down on weeds competing for water. Also, compost’s spongy texture improves soil composition and helps retain water, too. What’s more, compost is a great way to recycle plant and grass cuttings as well as kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells and more.
Choose plants that are native to the environment and stop fighting with your landscaping. This method of gardening is called xeriscaping and includes careful grading of plants so that water soaks into the soil rather than simply running off. Successful xeriscaping cuts down on both water use and maintenance, looks great, and helps to preserve our local heritage
Water With Care
Less frequent, more thorough waterings encourage deeper roots, which provide drought protection to plants and grasses. Water just when your plants or lawn need it, rather than on a regular schedule. Consider capturing rainwater in a rain barrel or finding out how to repurpose gray water, which is water used for showers, dishwashers and other uses that is then recycled.
Contact a landscape architect to find out how to maximize your landscape’s water efficiency. Be sure to check with your local government for water restrictions in your area