The Top 10 Ways to Reduce Water Use in Your Lawn and Garden
Welcome back to our DIY gardening series - part 2! I am so glad you are here and excited (yes, I am actually excited about saving water!) to dive back into some basic water conservation talk. Like I mentioned in my previous Pennington post, I am not a crazy nut brown hare. If I want a good, long soaking shower, I take it. ...buuuuuuuut I don't want to be completely wasteful and water a 2 acre lawn for hours and hours each week. I don't want to be one of the Americans spending an average of 73 hours maintaining my lawn (with MOST of that time spent on WATERING). 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! Depending on their region, homeowners use between 30%-70% of their water outdoors and 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. CRAZY.
Simply, really. When I boil potatoes or pasta, I use a ladle to remove them and let the water sit until it is cool. Then it gives a nice shower to the roses. The eggs are really quite wonderful. After boiling eggs, I again let the water cool and the tomatoes get that water chock full of calcium.
Did you notice that I didn't mention the lawn? I didn't even mention the garden, because neither get supplemental water. The only plants that get extra water are brand new baby plants and trees that need to get established, sm potted plants and my fussy favorites. Fussy plants like roses and tomatoes that well worth the extra effort to save the egg water.
Here are a few more strategies I use to make sure I use the water we are given (Thanks God!) is used as wisely as possible with as little work as possible.
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. I 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.I wish (I WISH!) we could afford a bunch of the fancy, beautiful rain barrels to collect water, but until then, I do my own little saving around the garden. There are a few containers and pots that I leave unplanted each year. I allow them to fill with rain, serve as water buckets for the free ranging chickens and an extra couple cups of water for nearby pots when they need it.
I use quite a bit of mulch, but I wait until AFTER the spring rains to apply it. I 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. Need a cheaper source of mulch? THIS ARTICLE spells out where and how I get truckloads of mulch for my garden.
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? Remember my suggestions HERE?
· Pennington Smart Seed remains green for up to three weeks without water and requires up to 30 percent less water year after year versus ordinary seed.
· By utilizing a high-quality seed that requires less water and contains no filler, lawns are more resilient and easier to maintain.
· As a pure bred, drought-resistant seed, Pennington Smart Seed also helps establish fuller, healthier and greener lawns, while efficiently using natural resources.
· Introducing beneficial micro-organisms that attach themselves to the emerging seed roots for denser, deeper roots. Each seed in Pennington Smart Seed is further enhanced with Pennington’s exclusive MYCO Advantage seed technology.
· Pennington Smart Seed comes in both traditional variety blends/mixes, as well as specialized mixes that are customized to specific regional climates.
· In keeping with Pennington’s commitment to rigorous quality control, consistency and customer satisfaction, every bag of Pennington Smart Seed is of the highest quality.
Now, I have a mature lawn seeded with a drought resistant grass and a green and lush, weeds welcome property, so I don't need to seed a huge space. However, I do have big holes in the lawn. Why you ask? Well we have three little boys that choose random spots to make "digging holes" and we also had one unfortunate accident with a skunk and a trap that left a large bare spot in the lawn. The solution? A patch!
When I went shopping for a seed for the patches, I knew I wanted something easy, drought resistant and a grass mix that will blend in with our current yard. Of course, I also wanted it to be EASY. That is why I picked this mix (pictured above) that includes the Pennington Smartseed, but also has the mulch and fertilizer needed to get the grass off to a good start.
It means place some compost on the hole, sprinkle the Pennington mix day before a rain and WALK AWAY. Easy, peasy, done and DONE. I don't do complicated when it comes to simple garden chores. Another advantage? I can hand sprinkle the seed without causing clumps thanks to the mulch.
|Boys' "Digging Hole|
|Hole filled with compost and hand sprinkled seed and mulch mix from Pennington Smart Seed|
|Seed/mulch mix on top of compost to 1/8" depth, evenly spacing the seed|