Saving Water in the Garden This Summer
Water is a precious resource. All living things need it, and in the summer it can become scarce. Gardens can use up a lot of water in the heat, especially if you're growing fruits and vegetables. Here are some ideas on how you can save water in your garden this summer.
If you can invest in a rain barrel, it can end up saving you a lot of water. Rain barrels connect to your home's downspout, filling more quickly than you might think! A rain barrel can provide hundreds of gallons of rain water that you can tap into when the rain is not so frequent. Plants also tend to thrive when given rain water.
A sunken garden is a garden that is set into the ground. Typically, a large area is dug out and the garden planted within the sunken area. Rain water collects in this natural reservoir rather than running off as it would in raised or sloped beds. (You can also put raised beds within the sunken garden.)
Consider replacing your conventional garden plants with drought-resistant ones. They require a lot less water to look attractive. Clover is a nice addition to a yard or garden. It takes little water and adds nitrogen to the soil. Both red and white clovers also attract bees.
Also, you might want to consider native plants in your garden. Natives have centuries of experience in surviving your local area's weather conditions, and native plants tend to require much less watering and maintenance overall.
Rather than using a sprinkler system, sources suggest soaker hoses for better water conservation. These porous hoses lie on the ground and are arranged around the plants' bases.
Soaker hoses deliver a slow, steady supply of water directly to the roots rather than spraying water all over the leaves and surrounding area. This helps cut back on water loss due to evaporation, and it also tends to use less water since plants receive the water directly at the roots and get what they need sooner (less is wasted).
Applying mulch to your garden helps retain moisture and keep plant roots cool.
Working a lot of compost into the garden's soil helps improve the overall condition of the soil, which helps retain moisture and provide nutrients. Strong, well-fed plants tend to require a lot less water than those in poor soil.