Did you know that more plants are killed each year from over-watering than from lack of water? One portable lawn sprinkler operating 1 hour uses 360 gallons of water. That’s the equivalent of 12 five-minute showers, 50 runs of the dishwasher, 225 flushes of a toilet, or 12 loads of laundry.
Tips for effective irrigation:
Preserving Moisture – The Benefits of Mulch
Last but not least, mulch is a gardeners' best friend. It can help prevent evaporative water loss, insulates the roots of your plants from extreme heat (and cold for that matter), and it reduces weeds which compete not just for the nutrients in the soil but also for the available water.
The best mulch is organic, fine textured, and non-matting. Generally 3 to 5 inches is sufficient. Make sure the mulch is well-composted. ‘Green’ mulch can rob plants of essential nitrogen. You can place landscape fabric or newspaper (2- to 3-sheets thick) under the mulch to help provide an added barrier to moisture loss.
Blog by: Sabine Ehlers, CMG
Picking the right Plants
Turfgrass, aka our lawns, have the highest requirement for supplemental water of any plant in the landscape. Replacing our lawns with alternative plantings can help to conserve water (and may overall be less maintenance). Ground covers or native plants that are more tolerant of moisture extremes may be good options. Other alternatives include a wide variety of drought-tolerant plants available, including Juniper, Crepe Myrtles, Yapon Holly, or Oaks for example
If you choose to keep your lawn, keep in mind that different grasses have different water requirements and different levels of drought tolerance. Next time you re-seed your lawn, consider options such as a Hybrid Bermuda Grass or Zoysia, both of which are much more drought tolerant than Fescue Grass.
Additional Reading on Water-Wise Gardening:
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