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How to Save Water in Your Garden

It’s that time of year again.  You’ve carefully planted your garden, and are eagerly watching as the seedlings emerge.  Springtime in Southern Illinois usually provides plenty of water for your garden to get started, but soon enough you’ll need to start irrigating.  It’s important to consider our water usage when gardening because it can save money as well as reduce the impact on the environment.  Here are some tips to help you during the gardening season:

 

-Water your garden in the evenings when it’s cooler.  This will reduce how much moisture you lose to evaporation.

-Avoid overwatering.  Plants need about 5 gallons per 10 square feet per week according to the Royal Horticultural Society in order to keep growing.  This is probably less than you are currently giving them!

-Water deeply, so the water reaches the roots of the plants.  This is a more efficient use of your water and helps plants develop better root systems.

-Using compost can cut water usage in your garden by up to 30%.  This high-quality soil retains water far better than poorer quality soil, and provides vital nutrients to your plants. 

-Mulching your garden is another great way to help your soil retain its moisture.

-Collect rainwater.  There are many rainwater barrels on the market, so you can find one that suits your needs and your taste.

-Collect and reuse grey water from your house.  The garden is a perfect place for the water you used to cook vegetables or pasta once it’s cooled.  You can purchase a diverting kit that takes the water from your bathtub and sends it to an irrigation system.  Normal household detergents won’t harm plants, but don’t use water that contains chemicals such as bleach or disinfectants.

-Use the right kind of irrigation.  Sprinklers work well for lawns because they cover such a wide area.  Hoses and watering cans take more work, but are best for individual plants since the water only goes where it is needed.  Soaker hoses reduce evaporation and keep water directed at the roots.

-When landscaping, use plants that are native to your area.  They usually will only require the water that nature provides.

 

Gardening can be an enjoyable and satisfying hobby, and saving water and money while you’re doing it makes it even better.  Consider your plant and soil choices carefully, and think about how they will affect your water bill and the environment.  Need an irrigation system or a new spigot to help get your garden started?  Just call A&W Plumbing!

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