Planting and tending a big garden comes with its share of costs, not the least of which will be the increase in your water bill to keep your scenic landscape going. However, what many gardeners don't understand is that gardens can actually thrive on much less water than they receive. Read on to learn a few watering tricks that will have your water bills drastically reduce without affecting the quality of your garden.
1. Change your timing
The best times to water your garden is early in the morning, when there isn't any sun to increase evaporation or winds to interfere with seepage. This allows water to get deeper into the root system to nourish the plant. Set up your automatic sprinklers to run before dawn, so that you are done by sun-up. A second trick is to consider the season of the year—water more often in the dry seasons and less often during the wetter seasons. Turn your sprinklers off during periods of consistent rainfall.
2. Change your technique
Many gardens are overwatered simply because gardeners/owners think that sprinklers should be turned on every day. In truth, you garden would still thrive if you ran your sprinklers every second day in the drier season and every third day when it's fairly wet. Instead, increase the duration of watering so that each watering goes deeper. The root system will still be able to access this water even if the surface seems dried up.
3. Check your sprinklers
Look at how your sprinklers are running, and change positions to avoid wastage e.g. watering on the curb/outside the garden. Inspect the sprinklers regularly and replace any damaged ones. Check pipes for leaks as well. If you can afford it, investing in a sprinkler control system in place of the regular timer can save thousands of litres of water each season. These system use computers to activate your sprinkler system according to your garden specifics (soil and plant species) and weather information.
4. Tend the plants
Healthy plants will take up water more efficiently and hence need less water. Begin by having a layer of organic mulch to reducing the rate of evaporation and also curb growth of weeds. You can also add organic compost to improve water retention in your soils, particularly in less-than-ideal soils such sandy or clay soils. You can supplement organic compost with organic fertilizers which can provide important nutrients needed by your plants to thrive. In time, your plants will use up less water.