The largest percentage of outdoor water usage goes toward watering our lawns and gardens. Maintaining the lush look of your landscaping while conserving water is doable if you’re willing to make some simple changes to the way you landscape and maintain your property. Here are some suggestions on how to conserve water this summer in Metro Vancouver.
Installing a Rain Barrel
A rain barrel is ideal for conserving and storing water in your backyard. Rain barrels are readily available from online e-tailers or local garden/hardware stores. They come in a variety of styles and sizes; you’re sure to find something that will blend in with your current landscaping design. They are relatively easy to install beneath any downspout. If you have a large front yard and backyard, consider installing a series of connecting rain barrels to increase the amount of water that is collected and can be used for watering your garden.
Selecting the “Right” Plants
When planting flowerbeds and borders use native plants and grasses. If you’ve been in the habit of buying annuals, switch to perennials instead. Because native vegetation is already acclimatized to the climate conditions of the Lower Mainland, they require less watering.
Water at the “Right” Time of Day
Water your lawn and garden either in the early morning or late evening. If you water your yard when the sun is high in the sky, there is more of a chance that the water will evaporate before it has a chance to reach the roots. Another good time not to water the lawn is when it’s windy – the water should land on the grass and not the siding.
More Conserving Water Tips
No one’s going to report you to the landscaping police – don’t water the lawn everytime a brown patch appears.
Ensure sprinklers are watering the grass and flowerbeds; not pathways or the driveway.
Inspect sprinklers from time to time throughout the summer to see if they are working properly – no leaks, clogs, etc.
If you haven’t done so already replace current sprinklers with eco-friendly ones. There are several options, including low-flow, pulsating, and remote control. Environmentally friendly watering systems can reduce the amount of water used in an hour by 30%.
Mulch strategically. Placing environmentally friendly mulch around the shrubs, trees, and flowerbeds on your property will keep the soil moister, minimizing evaporation and reducing the amount of water you’ll use.