Water Usage in Summer

When the temperature rises, so does water use outside for watering lawns and gardens.  A lush lawn, landscape, or garden looks great when it’s green and growing.  It’s great for the kids to run through a sprinkler to cool off. It’s estimated the average home will use two to four times as much water during the summer then other seasons. Below are simple tips a homeowner can use to help conserve water, our precious resource.

1. Understand how much water your landscape needs. Talk to your local landscaper or research the plantings in your yard to know how much and how often they need to be watered.  When plants are over watered their growth can be stunted.  It’s best to water your outside lawn and plantings in the early morning or evening so water is not lost due to evaporation.

2. Learn about the region and climate you live in. This will help you know which plants work best and are most efficient with water usage.  A homeowner can then adjust a sprinkling system based on the climate they live in.

3. Check the weather. Let Mother Nature water your plants.  There is no need for it to water your lawn when it is going to rain.  Most lawns only need one inch of rain a week.

4. Your lawn doesn’t need water just because it is hot outside. Take a stroll on your lawn.  When you step on your grass and it bounces back, then it has enough water.  Also, leave your grass at a higher height.  Did you know longer grass promotes root growth reducing evaporation and allowing fewer weeds to grow?

5. Adjust your sprinklers so they are watering your lawn or garden and not your sidewalk or driveway. It’s unnecessary to water concrete or asphalt!

6. Instead of using the hose to wash off a deck or sidewalk, use a broom.

7. Check your outside spigots or any water using device outside for leaks. This will save you money, and water, when you’re paying for the water you use.

8. Consider drip irrigation for watering your shrubs, trees, and plant beds. This method allows the water to go directly to the roots and hinders weed growth.  Consider a soaker hose as an alternative to watering with a hose.

9. Use mulch or grass clippings in and around plants, shrubs, or trees to retain moisture so watering can occur less often.

10. Install and use a rain barrel to water your plants and shrubs.

These tips will give you a green thumb as well as keep your lawn and garden looking green.  Some of these water saving tips may cost money upfront, but know the savings will add up over the years in your pocketbook and our environment.  It’s hard to break old habits, but the longer you stick to a plan you’ll be amazed at the way your landscape looks.  Give one of these tips a try.