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Ways to Conserve Water While Gardening

Ways to Conserve Water | GoodGirlGoneGreen.comWhen it comes to gardening, I most definitely do not have a green thumb. You would think with all my green talk that I would. I know- shocking! A few months ago, I saved a Poinsettia from dying in a landfill and let’s just say it will be spending the remainder of it’s time in in the compost bin.

I do know that plants and flowers need to be watered, and using rainwater will conserve water and that is the extent of my gardening knowledge.

Luckily, Jakob has stopped by my blog for the second time sharing his knowledge. I will leave the gardening expertise to him.

One of the things many of us seem to increase use of at this time of year is water. The main reason is the change in seasons and desire to grow crops and other types of plants.

From avid gardeners with their vegetable plots to low-key homeowners with a few patches of flowers by the garage door, this phenomenon is mostly felt on the monthly water bill, which becomes the impetus for using less.

However, while spending fewer dollars is a good motivating factor to conserve, conservation shouldn’t just be about finances because it’s also a critical step towards our very survival.

You see, although a picture of our beautiful planet shows great blue oceans a very small percentage of all this water is of drinking quality for people.

That’s why what we do in our yards and gardens holds significance towards ensuring there’s enough water to go around.

Part of what’s necessary is simply limiting the amount being used, as this has obvious benefits. The other is reducing the volume further by tweaking the methods of distribution. How so?

Think about it. How many times in the past has a garden hose been picked up and the nozzle squeezed hard sending gallons of water across a yard? That stream isn’t only feeding beneficial plants in its path but everything else including weeds and other potential vegetation are being cultivated simultaneously.

For this reason, changing our delivery and incorporating what I like to call the ‘shoot for the roots’ model can help. The basic idea is simple and goes like this: Since roots need water most that’s where the water needs to go.

5 Ways to Conserve Water While Gardening

  1. As already mentioned hoses aren’t the greatest tool for watering the garden, as a strong stream is likely to be too powerful and a lighter setting is usually still too wide and wasteful.
  2. Hoses should be specifically used to make watering easier through transferring water from the house to places in the garden that are a little farther away. Then a watering can or bottle can be filled and used for feeding on the spot instead of having to carry jugs a longer distance across a yard.
  3. The watering can or bottle should produce a straight stream rather than a sprinkle effect that spreads water outward. That way the person watering is able to hold the spout closer to the base of plants and control the stream better when shooting for the roots.
  4. Watering in the early morning is a perfect time for allowing water to infiltrate soil, sink in, and give plants strength to beat the heat. The later in the day it is, the higher the evaporation rate will be.
  5. Drip irrigation systems are great ways to conserve water and should be considered around larger properties. They are comprised of a series of hoses laid out around the bases of plants, bushes, and trees and require little maintenance. Until recent years they have mainly been utilized in industrial parks and agricultural settings but are becoming more common around private homes and excellent at shooting for the roots.

Will you be shooting for the roots this Spring?

Jakob Barry  is a home improvement journalist for Networx.com and blogs for pros across the U.S. like Norfolk VA plumbers and fence contractors in Kansas City, MO.

More Gardening and Composting Articles

Ways to Conserve Water | GoodGirlGoneGreen.com

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Comments

  1. To clarify, in general the best time is in the morning but late evening is second best. The only thing to take care of when watering at night is not to soak plant leaves too much because the prolonged moisture can attract fungi and things like slugs which love to eat vegetation. It’s a great idea to mulch around plants so the ground stays moist longer during the day after watering. In brief, (and without knowing the specifics of your area) it’s ok to water in the evening too.

    • Thanks, -but don’t forget if you can to try and mulch around plants to keep the ground moist longer.

  2. The only problem with a watering can that shoots out a steady stream is that when you aim it directly onto the base of the plant it can wash away the dirt and expose the roots over time. Mulching will help prevent this, but you need to check the base of your plants periodically over the summer to make sure the roots are covered.

    • Very true Jennifer; the stream shouldn’t be ‘steady’ in the ‘strong’ sense of the word because then it would do more harm. The idea is simply to have something that can be controlled more in terms of direction. This is one of the reasons why drip irrigation works so well!

  3. What are your thoughts on sprinklers attached to hoses? My home garden has one that we turn on for a few minutes in the morning, a few times a week. Is this a good approach or am I over watering?

    • If it’s a sprinkler to water the garden then it may be a bit too much because a lot of the water will land on top of plants rather than at the bases. Just keep thinking about the best ways to shoot for the roots and leave the leaves alone! 🙂

  4. Thanks for the tips. In addition to using http://smartgardener.com, I am determined to grow something this year!

    My mom always told me to water in the morning because watering in the evening might be too wet for the soil, possibly creating mold, since there is no sunlight. At least you have the day light for water to evaporate if you water in the morning and no chance of mold growing.

  5. Thank you all for the great tips!
    Happy Tuesday, visiting from “Tiggerific Tuesday! Blog Hop…or Bounce!”
    Tracy

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