The summers are getting hotter every year, which means more watering. Water, though, is a valuable commodity. If you don’t think so, take a look at your most recent water bill. Odds are, it was more than you were planning. All across the country water shortages, and even droughts, are common. At the very least, prolonged dry spells are influencing your watering schedule. Whether your situation is mild or severe, there are some landscaping decisions you can make to help reduce the amount of water you need to dedicate to your plants, trees, shrubs, and lawn. Here, then, are some pointers on saving water (and cash) in your landscaping.
Drought-tolerant Plants and Grass
It should go without saying, but choosing plants that are suited to your climate will put you at an advantage. If you fancy a plant that is better suited to a different environment, you are setting yourself up for added maintenance and a greater degree of failure. One crucial element of a plant being suited to the right environment is its water requirement, which can be broken down into three grades: very low, low, and medium. Naturally, choosing plants that require less watering in the first place will relax your need to water as much when the mercury rises … and stays there. The same goes for your lawn. Choosing drought-tolerant turf will help to ensure your lawn is better able to stand up to long, hot summer stretches.
The Right Plant in the Right Location
Your yard will have some spots that are shadier than other and sunnier than others. By putting plants that need more water in the shadier locations and vice versa, you can save water and see better plant growth at the same time. In short, having the right plant in the right location will require less overall maintenance.
Building off our last point of finding the right location for a plant, hydrozoning takes it one step further. In short, hydrozoning is the process of keeping plants with similar watering requirements clustered together in the same location. If you think this is something that would work for you, your local landscape professional can help you design a hydrozone and/or transition to one.
Mulch is more than visibly pleasing. When you put a layer of mulch around plants and trees, it helps to retain moisture and reduce evaporation. Both of those things will help you use less water.
Some cities or townships may have restrictions regarding watering your landscape, so check with them first. For the most part, however, the ideal watering times are early in the morning or around dusk. This is when temperatures are cooler. Watering in the middle of the day when the temperatures are higher can lead to water evaporating before it has a chance to be absorbed. In short, it’s a waste of water. Watering on windy days can have the same effect with regards to evaporation.
When watering plants and trees, its best to water at a slower speed, via drip irrigation or soaker hoses. This helps to ensure that the water soaks in before running off. It’s also worth keeping in mind that you can do just as much damage (and sometimes more) by over-watering plants than by under-watering them. So know how much water your plants, trees, and grass require and water accordingly.
Smart Irrigation Planning
If you don’t already use an irrigation system, think about installing one with smart controllers. An irrigation system with smart controllers can sense weather conditions each day and only water when necessary. On average, these systems can save you 15-20% on your water bill versus conventional watering practices.
If you are already have an irrigation system, you can also consider changing your spray nozzles from sprinklers to rotating nozzles. The latter spread heavier droplets of water more slowly so they can be more targeted and, thus, more effective in providing necessary water in all the right places.
Another way to maximize what little rain you may be getting is with rain barrels. By catching the rain water and reusing it in your yard later, you can lean on Mother Nature instead of your garden hose. You’ll want to check your local township codes, however, to make sure there are no restrictions on rain barrels in your neighborhood.
There are a number of different ways you can have have beautiful landscaping even in the hottest of summers. If you need professional assistance, contact E.P.M. Lawnscape or call us today at (517) 990-0110!