Water-wise tips for gardeners and homeowners:
- Utilize highly-efficient watering systems such as soaker hoses and drip irrigation systems. These allow water to go directly to the plant roots and not be lost through evaporation. These methods also encourage plants to develop strong root systems by thoroughly soaking into the soil.
- Water efficiently. Monitor soil conditions to determine how often you should water. A standard recommendation is to apply one inch of water every 7-10 days.
- If you have a sprinkler system, check it thoroughly for leaks that can result in water loss. Sprinkler systems can be outfitted with rain sensor devices to prevent them from coming on when they are not needed. Some sprinkler systems can be retrofitted to include drip irrigation for plant beds.
- Set sprinkler systems to appropriate setting of no more than one inch of water a week for most landscapes and gardens.
- Water plants in the evening or early morning when less evaporation occurs. However, morning watering will prevent most plant diseases.
- Mow grass to the most appropriate height for the weather conditions. Leaving grass slightly higher in drier weather allows the soil to retain more moisture. It is also important to keep mower blades sharp especially during drier periods.
- Utilize mulch and compost in plant beds to help retain moisture. Mulch can also help reduce weeds, which will compete with plants for moisture.
- Collect rain in rain barrels to use for watering as a supplement during dry periods.