We all want the perfect yard. You know, the one that looks like it deserves to be featured in a magazine spread. The one yard that cars always slow down for and neighbors talk and ask about.
Yards that are full of plush green grass, flowers that seem to bloom brighter than any others – you know the ideal “perfect yard.”
While a lush, green lawn may be the traditional symbol of a well-kept home, it can actually be quite detrimental to the environment.
In fact, according to the EPA, nearly 50% of all residential water usage in the summer months is for watering lawns and gardens. As drought conditions become more common in many parts of the country, it is important to consider landscaping design ideas that conserve water.
So, how do you conserve water and yet still have your ideal perfect yard? Here are five tips to help you keep a your yard looking great throughout long hot summer day’s.
Keep things native
One of the easiest solutions to conserve water is to only plant flowers, trees and shrubs that are native to your particular region. After all, they’ve survived in the conditions for thousands of years; why not use them in your yard.
You know they’ll survive in the natural conditions and they’ll take less water and maintenance than alternatives.
The same theory can be applied to grass. Do some research and find what grasses are native to your region. Seed your yard with that type of grass to help conserve water.
Be Smart what times you Water
Make sure to water early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are low and water won’t evaporate as fast. Avoid overwatering your yard. When you water too much, runoff occurs – wasting water.
In addition to watering too much, try to avoid watering when it’s windy, water will not hit your target and be wasted in addition to evaporating faster.
Efficient Irrigation System
Install an efficient sprinkler system to help conserve water. Use a controller that automatically adjusts water times and frequencies based on the moisture in the soil, rain and wind.
Another tip would be to switch your sprinkler heads so that they are all efficient, rotating heads to help avoid over-watering in areas. Change your sprinkler heads to multi-stream efficient heads, this is a relatively inexpensive fix and can save you money in the long run.
When possible also use a drip irrigation system, especially in gardens and flowerbeds.
The basic idea behind drip irrigation is to deliver water directly to the root zone of plants, with little or no wetting of the surrounding soil. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, but the most common method is to use a network of buried tubing to deliver water slowly and evenly to the base of each plant.
Drip irrigation is often used in conjunction with mulching, which helps to further reduce evaporation and keeps the root zone moist. When properly designed and installed, a drip irrigation system can save water, reduce runoff, and improve plant health.
Landscaping that looks Good and Saves
When it comes to landscaping, it’s a good idea to incorporate a lot of shade in your plans.
Plant plenty of trees to help keep your yard shaded; this will help your grass soak up more water from your sprinklers. Do as much xeriscaping as possible, rather than typical soil gardens use rocks.
Barrel of Savings
One of Mother Nature’s greatest gifts is rain, but so often it goes wasted through evaporation or runoff.
Creating a rain barrel allows you to collect runoff rainwater from your roof. Store it and use it to water your yard, plants and gardens. It’s a great easy way to use such a valuable resource. It conserves water and will save you money in irrigation.
With these tips you should be able to conserve water in the heat of summer while still having that perfect yard.