During a drought, or just for general water conservation, here are some tips to help you conserve water and make the best use of available water.
If you have not already mulched your plants, do it. Landscape mulch helps limit the amount of water that evaporates from the soil. While organic mulches, such as grass clippings or wood chips, are preferable because they add organic matter to the soil, plastic mulches also limit water evaporation from the soil.
Water in the early morning, before the heat of the day, to limitevaporation and give plants needed moisture to make it through the hot, sunny day.
Place the water where it will do the most good. Sprinklers are NOT efficient for water conservation and getting water to the roots of plants. Much of the water lands on the leaves and evaporates before reaching the ground. The most efficient way to water is slowly and gently at the base of the plants, where the water can soak into the soil.
Consider using a drip or trickle irrigation system that places the water where it is needed most, at the base of the plants. Many inexpensive, easy-to-install systems are available to aid water conservation.
Give Priority to New Plants
Water those plants that need it most. Newly planted trees, shrubs, and flowers with limited roots systems will most likely suffer first from drought conditions. Give these plants priority if water is scarce. Well-established plants, especially those native to the area, are likely to withstand drought conditions with limited damage.
Use a Rain Barrel
Collect water from downspouts when it rains. Roofs intercept significant amounts of rain. Collecting this runoff into a barrel can help limit the use of city or well water during dry spells.
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