Challengicious Monday Reduce Your Outdoor Water Use

>> Monday, June 7, 2010

Mondays are challengicious at The Conscious Shopper. Here's this week's water-related challenge

Reduce Your Outdoor Water Use

My out-of-control garden, taller than my five-year-old

Instead of the usual Baby Steps etc., I'm just going to list a bunch of random tips today for watering and landscaping your yard and garden:
  • The best time to water your lawn or garden is in the early morning.
  • Make sure your sprinklers are positioned so you're watering the lawn or garden and not the sidewalk.
  • Check your sprinkler system and outdoor faucets periodically for drips and leaks.
  • If you have an automatic sprinkler system, install a rain shut-off device so you don't double water. Overwatering can be just as bad for your plants as underwatering (not to mention wasting lots of water).
  • Set up a drip irrigation system to water near the roots where the plants need it most rather than on the leaves where you could spread disease.
  • Multi-task by letting your kids run through the sprinkler in a spot of your yard that needs some water, and move the sprinkler throughout the yard rather than always turning it on in the same spot.
  • Water your plants deeply but less frequently to create healthier and stronger landscapes.
  • Choose plants that are native to your area and/or require less water.
  • Plant during the spring or fall rather than midsummer when plants require more water.
  • Reduce the amount of grass in your yard by adding more trees, shrubs, and ground covers.
  • Mulch around your plants and garden to keep the soil cooler and avoid evaporation. A good source of mulch is the tree's own leaves - collect them in the fall, shred them, and then spread them around the base of the tree. Or skip the raking and leave them on the ground where they fall.
  • Keep your lawn mower adjusted to a higher setting - longer grass holds soil moisture better than shorter grass.
  • Aerate your lawn by poking holes about six inches apart throughout the yard so water will penetrate into the soil and reach the roots rather than running off the surface.
Pretty simple stuff once you get into the habit!

Will you take the challenge?

____________________

You have hereby been challenged to go green in a year without going broke! Check out the last challenge, or view the whole list of Challengicious Mondays. Sign up for my RSS feed, follow me on Twitter, and join my "Go Green without Going Broke" group on Facebook!

5 comments:

Diana June 7, 2010 at 9:13 PM  

Don't rain barrels fall into this category too? Ever since I set up rain barrels around my house, I hardly ever use the house.

Danielle June 8, 2010 at 1:23 AM  

Good tips! And loving the idea about keeping the kids entertained while watering a dry spot. ;-)

Erin aka Conscious Shopper June 8, 2010 at 8:59 AM  

@Diana - Yes! I plan to talk about that next week. Unless you want to write a guest post about yours! :)

@Danielle - If you're going to water the lawn anyway, might as well turn it into a way to entertain your kids ...

Wonder-ful June 8, 2010 at 1:15 PM  

Our water conservation efforts include...

Buying ollas to water our squash with.

After discovering that our "rain garden" was due to high clay content... using the soil from that area as a top layer to our container gardens.

Placing our containers on (or close enough to) the lawn so they get water when we water the lawns.

Cutting back from our allowed 3 watering days a week to 1-2 days a week.

Completely ignoring the future garden area when it comes to watering (it's full of grass, weeds at the moment. They don't need encouraging!)

Watering in the early morning or late evening.

NOT washing down the house/cars. (it gets so dusty here and I have a neighbor who hoses EVERYTHING down at least once a week...drives me nuts!)

Lisa Sharp June 8, 2010 at 10:43 PM  

SO jealous of your garden, I got nothing planted this year other than some flowers. I haven't been having to water much yet because we have still had a lot of rain. I never water our grass.

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