How to Save Water in the Garden
Why Should We Save Water?
Although around 71% of the world is covered in water, about 97% of that is salt water which cannot be consumed by humans unless it undergoes desalination, which is an expensive process.
This makes fresh, clean water an extremely valuable resource.
With today’s increasing temperatures, the need to reduce usage and save water is more important than ever.
Global warming has meant that droughts are becoming more common in recent times and this can further limit access to clean and fresh water.
For many Third World countries, there is a very limited supply of clean drinkable water due to contamination.
This may not be a huge problem for the Western world, but there are many other reasons to save water.
Water conservation reduces energy use and can save households hundreds of pounds a year. Appliances such as garden hoses, washing machines and dishwashers all use vast amounts of water and energy, costing the homeowner money.
The more water we use as a country, the greater the strain it puts on septic and sewage systems which have to process the water we consume. The strain that this puts on our water processing facilities can sometimes mean that untreated, dirty water seeps from the sewage system and into the ground.
Everyone, no matter where in the world they live, can take steps to reduce their water usage to prevent wastage, which not only helps the local environment, it helps on a global level.
10 Ways to Save Water in the Garden
1.Avoid using sprinklers and hoses
Many people suffer from a dry, patchy lawn throughout the summer months and sometimes the only cure is to regularly water the lawn using a hose or sprinkler system. However, a sprinkler can use up to 1,000 litres of water an hour. This is as much water as the average household requires per day.
2.Use watering cans instead of a garden hose
If your plants need regular watering, fill up a watering can rather than using the garden hose to significantly reduce the amount of water used.
3.Install a water butt
Connecting a water butt to a drainage downpipe is a fantastic idea as it’s effectively a source of free water. It also reduces the amount of water running through our already overloaded sewage systems.
4.Install artificial grass
Artificial grass is a great way to prevent water usage. Although it may need the occasional hosing down during periods of little rain, the amount of water it requires is minimal when compared to real grass. You’ll no longer need to worry about a dry, brown patchy lawn, either, as it will look thick and luscious all year round.
5.Reuse household water
There are many ways in which you can recycle or reuse the water consumed in your household. For example, if you regularly boil or steam vegetables, pasta or rice, then why not save the excess water and pour it on your plants? There’s also the potential added bonus that the additional nutrients will further help your plants to grow. If there’s any tea left in the pot, that can be used on plants, too. (Please note: use black tea only – if it’s been poured and had milk and sugar added, it’s not suitable.)
Other examples of recycling household water would be to reuse bath water, old fish tank water or, next time you have a shower, put a bucket on the floor to catch the water that is wasted whilst you wait for the shower to heat up.
6.Add mulch to plant beds
Bark mulch is fantastic at retaining and absorbing moisture and helps to reduce evaporation by up to 75%. This means that your beds will need less water than they otherwise would.
7.Choose your plants carefully
When choosing new plants for your garden, be careful which plants you choose. To save water, ideally, you’ll want to choose smaller plants and shrubs over bigger ones, as they will consume less water.
It’s also important to choose pants that require very little water. As a general rule of thumb, this means choosing plants with small narrow leaves.
8.Consider your choice of container carefully
If you’re looking to create an attractive yet low maintenance garden, we highly recommend using containers to house your plants and shrubs as you’ll find them much easier to manage and maintain.
However, be sure to choose your container wisely.
Some materials, such as metal, heat up quickly causing the soil to dry out quickly. Terracotta and clay pots can also be a problem as they lose moisture through their porous surface. It’s very important to choose a pot or container that holds moisture, and plastic fits the bill.
The downside to plastic pots is that you may not find them as attractive as clay or terracotta, but remember, you can still have your more attractive pot – just make sure you put a moisture holding container inside it.
9.Control weed growth
Not only do weeds look unsightly, but they also soak up moisture from the soil. Regularly remove weeds from flower beds and containers to reduce the amount of water required by your plants and shrubs.
This may seem obvious, but it’s actually very easy to overwater plants and shrubs. There are several ways to tell if a plant has been overwatered; the leaves may be brown or yellow, they may have wilted even though the soil is wet, or there may be blisters or lesions on the plant caused by oedema.
Water is a very precious resource that we and our gardens need to survive, but we all have a responsibility to reduce our water usage and the amount of waste we create.
They are many ways in which this can be done and hopefully this article has helped inspire you to save water.
Of course, there are not just environmental issues at stake here, there’s also a financial gain that comes with reduced water usage.
If your lawn suffers from a lack of moisture, then why not consider having artificial grass installed in your garden?
It requires minimal amounts of water and will transform any lawn or garden area into a lush green lawn that requires very little maintenance and looks fantastic all year round.
Do you have any other ideas on how to save water in the garden? Feel free to share them with us by leaving a comment below.