Vancouver has had its share of summers so dry that watering restrictions have been implemented. But it’s a good idea to come up with your own plan no matter what the climate conditions are. These water conservation tips will help you save money and prevent you from overwatering.
If you water a lawn and garden beds with a garden hose or sprinkler, most of the volume never reaches the roots. For garden beds, stop water from evaporating on the soil’s surface by using mulch made of pine bark, compost or lava rock. For plants and small shrubs, use watering devices such as soaker hoses, irrigation drips or micro-sprays that target the roots of the plant rather than the surface area.
When using a standard sprinkler to water the lawn, select a slow speed or buy one that applies the water slowly. Try to avoid sprinklers that spray so quickly, the waters pools on top of the soil. Like overflowing rain gutters or improperly drained downspouts, soaking the lawn or plant beds can leech the soil of much-needed nutrients.
To ensure that you don’t overwater your lawn, invest in a rain gauge to tell you how much rain your yard actually receives. You might not have to water it as often.
Landscape with Conservation in Mind
Replace annuals with native perennials; they require less water than non-native plants. Group plants together that need similar amounts of water.
Consider building a patio or deck, or find other ways to reduce the amount of grass you have to water every week.
Add a rain barrel to your gutter system. This will mean adjusting the length of your current downspout. But it will allow you to save the water drained from the gutters and use it for your lawn and plants.
Water Conservation No-Nos
Don’t ignore leaky hoses and faucets – repair them as soon as they come to your attention; the sooner you do, the more water (and money) you’ll save.
Don’t use water for anything else but watering your garden. Sweep debris off the pathway or driveway with a broom. Take your car to a commercial car wash.
Install a water feature only if it recycles the water.