Reducing Water Use While Gardening

Did you know that lawns require approximately 1 inch of water per week to stay green in the summer, which equates to about 2,500 gallons of water per week to keep an average-sized lawn green.  That's crazy!


Here are some strategies to make sure you don't waste too much water. 

1.  Place pots under hanging baskets.

Hanging baskets leak a LOT, especially when you are actually giving them the water they need to thrive.  While you can't skip watering the baskets, you CAN make use of the dripping bottom of the baskets.  Simply place potted plants directly under the baskets and they get a nice little shower every time the hanging baskets are watered.

2.  Save Rainwater.

Look for some empty containers and pots to catch the rain water.  Allow them to fill with rain and serve as a water buckets for the nearby pots when they need it.

3. Utilize Mulch in the Garden

Let the rains soak in deep into the ground, then add a thick layer of mulch to block out seedlings and keep that moisture down by the plants' roots.   

4.  Pick the Right SEED!

If you want to make one decision that will impact the amount of water you are using on your lawn though, it boils down to one simple decision.  Which grass will you plant?

5. Plant Drought Tolerant Plants

You can save a ton of water by simply picking garden plants that are adapted to the amount of natural rainfall your region receives. 

6.   Water in the Morning

If you DO need to water, don't waste it watering in the heat of the afternoon when it will simply evaporate!

7.  Water Without Wind

Similarly to hot and dry sun, wind will zap the moisture right away from your plants, so water when it is NOT windy!

8.  Try Bulbs!

Bulbs live DEEP in the ground and many are spring bloomers, receiving the spring rains to restore them for the next year.  They will disappear under the ground all summer and survive a drought when other plants wither and die.  Bulbs and plants that grow from tubers are just tougher than a lot of other plants, so try cannas, iris and spring bulbs when you want tough plants that can survive without supplemental water.  (Note:  These plants will not thrive without SOME rainwater, so a desert climate is not suitable for them.)

9.  Put up with a few weeds.

Weeds in the lawn is okay.  They keep the bees coming, the flowers can be quite beautiful, and they stay green when the grass starts to brown.  The biodiversity of a few weeds in your lawn won't hurt anything.  Just don't look too closely.

10.  Put up with a little brown.  

In the same vein, deal with a little brown patch once in awhile.  It likely will green up with the next rain.  If you DO need to water a spot or two, only water that spot or two.  The whole lawn likely does not need a drenching.

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Author Chris Link - Published 1-31-2022