Archive for April, 2010
How you maintain your garden is also as important as planning when it comes to conserving water. If you’re looking at limiting the amount of water you put into your garden, you will also need to limit the amount of water that flows out of your garden. You can do this is many ways:
• Pick plants, shrubs and grass that are known to develop good root systems and employ gardening techniques that improve roots. One way to do this is to mow the lawn tall, but do it frequently. The other way to do it is to pick plants that go well with your climate and soil and water them well for the first few weeks before you reduce the frequency. Keep looking out for leaves that go yellow and new shoots that look weak and pale.
• Mulching is an excellent way to ensure that your soil remain well hydrated and does not loose moisture, especially if you live in dry weather. Mulch can be conveniently prepared in your backyard using organic waste from your kitchen. A healthy dose of nitrogen fertiliser is also recommended, provided you know what you’re doing.
• Irrigation techniques are the most crucial aspect of conserving water in the backyard. In regions frequent watering is required most homeowners opt for irrigation to keep it convenient. Drip irrigation saves much more water than sprinklers which water a lot of things other than the grass. Gray water systems are another great option. Gray water is ‘wash water’ i.e. water used in the bathrooms, kitchen sinks and laundry, which is treated and then used in gardens. Gray water does not include water from toilets (which is called black water) and is perfectly safe, with few chemicals and pathogens once it’s treated and is used by a large number of families for irrigation. A gray water system is simple enough to be installed in your backyard. However, make sure you are familiar with your locality’s policies on gray water systems.
A pretty home in a quiet suburb, kids playing on the porch, toys littering the driveway and a large backyard with a pretty garden. This is usually the picture most homeowners want when they are remodeling their homes. In particular, the large backyard with a pretty garden is very common, especially for those with kids. While it may seem to be the perfect addition to a green home, a garden that is not well-planned can actually do more harm than good to the environment, by causing you to waste water.
Going water-wise is not just limited to toilets and faucets. If you have a garden, a large amount of water goes down there too, sometimes much more than is necessary to keep your garden green. Thus, we often suggest water-efficient landscaping and gardening when we remodel homes. This does not mean tearing up your garden from hearth. Although it is always easier to do over the entire garden, water efficient practices can also be integrated with the way your current garden is. And this can be done quite simply:
• The first way to limit the amount of water you put into your garden is to choose the plants you water carefully. Some plants tend to survive longer with little water and ideally these should be your first choice. This does not mean you turn your garden into a cacti exhibit. Most of the plants that grow naturally in your surroundings are your best option. Trying to grow and maintain an exotic garden can prove to take up a lot of water and money and effort.
• Soil preparation is an important part of creating a water-efficient garden. After the climate, your soil is what will determine what kind of plants will grow best, with less water. Planting ones that suit your soil or treating the soil accordingly before you plant will ensure that your garden works well with the natural weather and minimal water supply.