Here are a number of ways to save water in the garden. If you think of more, please comment below and share them with all of us.
Compost – Amending your garden or container soil with lots of organic compost will help build the water-holding capacity of that soil reducing run-off.
Mulch – Use at least two inches of some kind of mulching material on ornamental beds and up to six inches of straw or other loose organic matter on veggie gardens. Make sure your mulch is free of weed seeds.
Drip Irrigation – Lines laid under the mulch will put water at the root level where plants want it and save 50-70% of water used with overhead sprays. Plants will mature faster with fewer diseases and mildew. A timer will allow you to be more precise in your watering.
Water less often – Constantly soaking plants will only invite diseases especially if you’re using overhead watering. Veggies lose their flavor when over-watered.
Time of Day – Never water during the hottest part of the day, especially with a sprinkler system. Much of the water will be lost to evaporation.
Rain Barrels – Collect water in containers and hand-water planters with it.
Grey Water – Use waste water from your kitchen sink and laundry to water your garden. Be sure to use organic soaps and detergents. Check your local government for possible restrictions.
Downsize Gardens – Do you really need all those ornamental beds? Would a low-maintenance ground cover do the job instead? Are you making the best use of your veggie garden space?
Grow drought-tolerant plants – Xeriscaping is a fancy name for this practice. It comes from the Greek xeros meaning dry. Fleshy-leaved succulents and many other garden plants fall into this category. Make sure you grow them together so you can regulate the amount of irrigation they receive.
Get rid of your lawn – Nothing eats up water faster than trying to keep grass bright green, especially in hot, dry places. Many groundcovers and mulches can make attractive alternatives to a lawn. Use pathways to eat up some of the space formerly occupied by grass. Not only will you save water, you’ll save time and money too, and your home environment will improve without all the added chemicals and fertilizers a lawn requires.
These ideas for saving water in the garden just scratch the surface. Look around your yard – you’ll probably come up with more of your own.