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Landscaping and Conservation

In the average household, water use doubles in the summer, primarily due to landscape irrigation. But, conserving water does not have to mean a dry, brown landscape.

May contain: grass, plant, outdoors, and lawn

Some Myths about Drought-Resistant Landscaping

  1. Drought-tolerant landscaping isn't colorful.
    In truth, many drought-tolerant plants are prolific bloomers. In addition, by carefully choosing foliage colors and textures for contrast, you can bring color interest to the garden year-round.
  2. Drought-tolerant landscaping doesn't require any water at all.
    Even drought-resistant plants require some initial watering to become established. However, once they are established, drought-resistant plants will get by on considerably less water than we have been accustomed to lavishing on our landscape.

How to Conserve
In the garden, try these water-conserving techniques:

  • Use a variety of attractive low-water-using plants.
  • Use a drip irrigation system to apply water slowly, reducing run-off and promoting deep rooting.
  • Lay mulch, which can be made from readily available wood chips or leaf mold, act as a blanket to keep in moisture, and help prevent erosion, soil compression, and weeds.
  • Preserve existing trees. Established plants are often adapted to low water conditions. Porous paving materials such as brick, decomposed granite, or gravel used in patios and walk-ways help keep water in the garden rather than in the gutter.
  • Set automatic timing devices, which allow efficient watering on a schedule suited to each area of the landscape.

More Ways to Save Water in Your Garden

  1. Water in the cool parts of the day to cut down on evaporation.
  2. Add compost to your soil to improve its water-holding capacity.
  3. Check for and repair leaky hose connections and sprinkler valves. Small leaks can be very wasteful.
  4. Ask your local nursery about low-water-using turf, and raise your lawnmower cutting height. Longer grass blades help shade each other and cut down on evaporation.
  5. Don't over-water – water only when the soil is dry.
  6. Water trees and shrubs – which have deep root systems – longer and less frequently than shallow-rooted plants, which require smaller amounts of water or more often.
  7. When planting, remember that smaller-size container plants require less water to become established.